Consecrated Virgins on the Rise

Tags: Currents, Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby

While flipping through a photo album, Angela Scannapieco reflected one of the most important days of her life.

On that day, Scannapieco stood at St. James Cathedral Basilica in a wedding dress from David’s Bridal with a ring on her finger; but it wasn’t her wedding, it was her consecration ceremony.

Scannapieco, said: “They never had consecrated virgins in Brooklyn before.”

Scannapieco is one of only about 5,000 consecrated virgins in the world — and one of only two in Brooklyn; there is a third woman currently working towards becoming a consecrated virgin. The position is growing rapidly. The United States Association of Consecrated Virgins tells us while there is no central registry, they believe the number has grown between 10 to 15 percent since December 2015, when there were about 4,000. Even Scannapieco didn’t know what a consecrated virgin was when the idea was first introduced by her spiritual director.

Scannapieco, said “He said have you thought about consecrated virginity, and I said excuse me?”

She has now seen more recognition.

Scannapieco, said: “I have spoken at a couple of parishes and things like that so there is more awareness, I don’t know if I have seen people come up to me and say oh I know all about consecrated virginity, because it’s still not all that well known.”

Being a consecrated virgin is similar to being a nun, but consecrated virgins don’t live in enclosed communities, they don’t wear special clothing on a daily basis, and they have jobs. For example, while Scannapieco works at Divine Mercy parish in Brooklyn, another consecrated virgin she knows works in the banking industry.

Scannapieco explained one thing is similar, the calling: “If there is something that doesn’t feel like it’s all together there, then surround yourself with good, Holy people and seek some council and they’ll point you in the right direction and then God knows, God will use them.”