Editor's note

Editor's note

A vow that deserves attention

A graduate of a Catholic university once told me that the students at her university caught wind of a lavish seafood dinner that the sponsoring priests’ community enjoyed during a Lenten Friday fast from meat. “Boy, if that is poverty, bring on celibacy!” was their reaction.

More than anything the comment reveals that the outside world is fascinated by the vows. Like a wedding vow, the vow of celibacy is public. It’s meant to have meaning for the ones who live it and for those who witness their lives. Like any big commitment, the commitment to a life of celibate chastity deserves to be revisited now and then. In that spirit, HORIZON brings together several articles looking at both how people experience the vow and how they make sense of it theologically. 

To keep it real, we also present the advice of Sister Lynn Levo, C.S.J., Ph.D. about how and why to take a sexual history. The vow of celibacy does not turn people into non-sexual angelic beings, so serious discerners need to consider this foundational aspect of themselves.

Besides this close look at the vow of celibacy, we also bring you four vignettes of  parents responding to their adult children entering religious life. Each family response is unique, but parents do agree about a few things. Don’t miss their insights.

HORIZON frequently takes on big topics and we’ve done it again here: celibacy, sexuality, and family. To quote those cynical students: bring it on! Happy reading. 

—Carol Schuck Scheiber, editor, cscheiber@nrvc.net

Published on: 2023-10-31

Edition: 2023 HORIZON No. 4 Fall

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