I feel attracted to the life of a Consecrated Virgin and have some questions

1st- Can one become a consecrated Virgin if one has a mental illness? I have severe to moderate OCD ( I don’t do hand washing or anything like that, just thoughts, scruples, fears), which is mainly why I am not pursuing a full on religious vocation; I know I need to have a doctor that I can see frequently. Would this be an impediment to the Consecrated Virgin vocation?

2nd- Due to my OCD I have issues with confession. I go very, very often and almost always feel like I left something out. I have anxiety, but I can work just fine. I can support myself, and have about a year left in nursing school. It’s just mainly, I tend to make my confessions sound terrible because I feel if I don’t make them super dark I am afraid I am being too lenient with myself. Would this be an issue?

3rd- I am a virgin, but I have in the past sinned against purity in other ways. I have never partied, had alcohol, cigarettes, or anything like that. I’ve always lived a quiet life ( home to school to work) kind of life because my family is very strict, but would my sins be an impediment? They’ve always been private and I have not sinned against purity in any way recently.

4th- If I were able to become a consecrated virgin, could I move to another country? My family is originally not from the US, and if my parents were to move, they would want me to come with them. Would that be a possibility?

Thank you in advance!

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CAll the Vocations Director in your DIocese for a complete rundown of what this life entails and it’s expectations.
They enjoy helping young people discern the right path for themselves. Look online, and call them in the morning. Many Chancery offices are closed on Easter Monday though. DOn’t be surprised if there’s no one there. PErhaps even an email to introduce yourself. Good luck!


Hello Jamie,

The only way you can receive answers specific to your situation is to call your chancery office. However, I think I can answer your questions in general.

  1. Mental illness is only an impediment to consecrated life insofar as it impedes your participation in that consecrated life. As you are looking to become a consecrated virgin, I can think of no way in which this will be a problem.

  2. I don’t think that this would be an impediment to entering into the life of consecrated virginity. This is not to say that your spiritual director will not work with you upon this issue during your formation.

  3. From what I’ve been told by consecrated virgins, I do not believe that this would be an impediment. It only becomes an issue when when the sins against purity are committed during a public life of immorality.

  4. Yes, you should be able to move, but you must receive explicit permission to move from the bishops of your current diocese and the diocese you wish to move into and then wait until the formal transfer has been completed from one diocese to the other.

I’ll be praying for you.

God bless,
Br. Ben, CRM

  1. Possibly.
    2). Possibly. Sacred virginity requires a serious lifelong commitment to striving for perfection. A person ought to possess inner freedom when applying for a vocation. It makes little sense to apply for candidacy when inner torment would multiply because of the gravity of the obligations entailed…
  2. Depends. A great resource on this is Dr. Edward Peter’s article in Studia Canonica. An offense “against purity” can mean anything from laughing at a bad joke to acts which incorporate a physical element. Again, Peter’s article is very helpful.
  3. A CV may move anytime she discerns it is necessary. It is a matter of courtesy to inform both bishops of the move.

Private vows exist, one can devote one’s virginity or anything else to God in private, without drum or trumpet. In my opinion, the public consecrations must have a character of examplarity for the people of God. So we should not have the impression that a person is dedicated to God because he had no other choice to make. This is why someone who obviously has a lot of trouble getting married will also have a lot of difficulty getting accepted to be consecrated to God publicly by a bishop or a religious institute. It would be as if he is turning to God by default, whereas one must turn to God by elective choice. For example, if a man can seduce and have the women he wants, but chooses to devote his virgnity to God, he testifies like that, that the love of God is far better to human love.

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