Can a layperson take a vow of celibacy?

Is it accepted by the Church for a layperson to take a vow of celibacy?

I’m a 41-year-old bachelor whose always felt that the married life wasn’t my calling. I’ve felt a desire to do something special with my celibate practice, and would like to know if I can consecrate it to God? Permanately.

Are there any good books or papal writings that you can recommend to guide me and make a good decision?

Yes, a layperson may take a private vow of celibate chastity. However, in order to prepare for such a commitment, he should seek counsel first from an orthodox and balanced spiritual director in order to be certain that he is indeed called to the single vocation and to the private vow of celibate chastity. You may be able to find such a spiritual director by calling your diocese’s vocations director. That vocations director usually deals with vocations to the priesthood and/or the religious life, but probably knows of spiritual directors able to assist in vocations to the single life and able to help prepare a layperson for a private vow of celibate chastity. Another helpful resource may be

**Recommended reading:

Single Life
Personal Vocation** by Germain Grisez and Russell Shaw
Seeking Spiritual Direction by Fr. Thomas Dubay

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