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A year as a consecrated virgin

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placeholder  February 21, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA
A year as a consecrated virgin

Elizabeth Lam

A year ago, Elizabeth Lam, a parishioner at St. Edward Church in Newark made a rare vow, becoming a consecrated virgin living in the world, dedicating her life to service to God and the Church. She became one of about 200 consecrated virgins in the United States.

A consecrated virgin is not a member of a religious order, and earns her own living.

"This consecration is received through the hand of the diocesan bishop, and it establishes a particular important link to the local church the consecrated virgin, like the diocesan priest, is given to the local church, she gives herself in prayer and sacrifice," the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone said during the rite at the Cathedral of Christ the Light. A year after her consecration, The Voice asked Lam about her vocation.

How has your vocation been carried out over the past year?

Over this past year I have continued to seek to do the will of God. I think this is what most Catholics do regardless of their state in life or the particulars of their vocation.

Consecrated life means living for God, others

VATICAN CITY Consecrated life entails giving oneself completely to God and living for others, Pope Benedict XVI said. Speaking at his weekly general audience Jan. 25, the pope continued his catechesis on Christian prayer, looking at the Last Supper, when Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood.

The pope said Jesus prayed for God's intercession for his disciples, who, like himself, "do not belong to the world."

Consecration also entails going on missions, the pope said, as Jesus told God, "As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. The consecrated person exists for others, is given to others," and no longer lives for oneself, the pope said. The pope prayed that all Christians follow suit and "open our own prayers to the needs of our neighbors and the whole world."

Catholic News Service
Do you pray at certain times of the day?

Yes, albeit I try to pray always. There are certain times during the day that I set aside specifically for prayer. The liturgy of the hours (the official prayer of the Church) is entrusted to the Consecrated Virgin to pray daily. The church has designated times for each of the hours and we are supposed to pray them as closely as possible to the official time. The laity is encouraged to pray the liturgy of the hours as well, and at my parish there is a group that meets on a daily basis for Lauds and Vespers. I also attend Mass daily.

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