Role of the Bishop and the Diocese

Role of the Bishop and the Diocese

With the loving care of the Father and in the authority of Jesus Christ, the diocesan Bishop is to judge whether or not to admit an aspirant as a candidate for consecration and to assure that a program of formation is arranged for the candidate before her consecration.

The Rite states that the diocesan Bishop is the minister, as chief pastor of the local church. It belongs to him to choose and consecrate for service to the diocese. If delegation be necessary, the consecration may be performed by another bishop.

Because a particular spiritual bond exists between the diocesan Bishop and the consecrated virgin, the Bishop will want to express special pastoral and spiritual concern for her in his diocese. He has a regular, at least annual, conversation with each consecrated virgin regarding her life of consecration and areas of service in the Church. This regular conversation is not spiritual direction. Rather, it is part of the pastoral dialogue held between the Bishop and his spiritual daughters [Introduction to the Rite, No. 2] and for this reason should not be delegated to others. The vicar for consecrated life, however, acting on behalf of the Bishop, may meet with those consecrated on a variety of other matters.

After consecration, the consecrated virgin should be given a certificate of consecration and notification of her consecration should be made on her baptismal record. If she needs to move to another diocese, a letter of introduction to her new Bishop would be appropriate from her current Bishop, since this is a public state of consecration in the Church.

Taken from The Companion Discernment Guide to Consecrated Virgins in Today's Church, USACV, 2005, page 11.