When we call to mind Christian hermits, we may think of those who dwelt in caves or forests, isolated from society and relying on goodwill in exchange for spiritual counsel or basic goods, such as the woven baskets of the early desert fathers. In contemporary times, some Orders arrange their monasteries as clusters of hermitages where the monks live the majority of their day in solitary prayer and work, gathering briefly for communal prayer, and for community meals and recreation.
Since the beginning of the Church, unmarried or widowed women have felt the call to give their lives in service and prayer. Today, Consecrated virgins today are women who have never married or are no longer married due to widowhood, and are consecrated to perpetual virginity. They lead a life of service to the Church under the guidance of their bishop, and are committed to both prayer and penance.
This way of life has enjoyed a gentle revival in recent times. Consecrated virgins are not part of a religious community and are required to take care of their own every-day life in terms of property and personal effects.
Women wishing to discern this way of life should contact their bishop:
Office of Archbishop John Wilson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop Paul Hendricks: email@example.com