Dedicated Single Life

The Vocation of a Dedicated Single Life

"The unmarried man gives his mind to the Lord’s affairs and how he can please the Lord; but the man who is married gives his mind to the affairs of this world and to how he can please his wife, and he is divided in mind. So, too, the unmarried woman, and the virgin, gives her mind to the Lord’s affairs and to being holy in body and spirit; but the married woman gives her mind to the affairs of this world and to how she can please her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7: 32-34

The Dedicated Single Life is a call from God for a stable, permanent way of living. This means that the person chooses to remain single for life, and gives the gift of self in service of a person or a cause.

St. Catherine of Siena is an wonderful example as someone who’s vocation was the Dedicated Single Life. As a young person she had dedicated herself to Jesus, and so refused her parents attempts for her to marry. She was not a religious sister because she had dedicated herself to being a peacemaker between the Church and secular rulers, involving extensive travelling.

By single, it does not mean that you are not married, but plan to be someday or are in transition. A dedicated single life refers to a person who has chosen to make their life a gift to the Lord and to remain unmarried. It is sometimes described as a lay celibate life.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church guides us with the following:

  • "A secular institute is an institute of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful living in the world strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world especially from within." - 928 CCC
  • "By a "life perfectly and entirely consecrated to [such] sanctification," the members of these institutes share in the Church's task of evangelization, "in the world and from within the world," where their presence acts as "leaven in the world." "Their witness of a Christian life" aims "to order temporal things according to God and inform the world with the power of the gospel." They commit themselves to the evangelical counsels by sacred bonds and observe among themselves the communion and fellowship appropriate to their "particular secular way of life." - 929 CCC