WAUKESHA, Wis. — Coffee shop operator Eileen Belongea will become a “consecrated virgin,” taking on an old Roman Catholic rite that was reinstated by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
The 41-year-old woman learned about the rite in 1999 while visiting one of her siblings, who is a nun with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George in southern Illinois. She attended a youth rally during the late Pope John Paul II’s visit to St. Louis, Mo., and came away inspired.
“The Lord has given me the grace of virginity,” she said. “It is he who has preserved it my whole life, and I offer it back to him. Through God’s consecration, through the hands of the bishop, I’ll receive the strength and the grace that I will need.”
The operator of the Brewers Two Café at Meadowbrook Marketplace, a shopping center in Waukesha, and owner with her twin sister of that establishment and two other coffee shops admits that others find her choice unusual.
“When people find out I’m (becoming) a consecrated virgin, they’re very intrigued and they want to know more about it,” Belongea said. “I haven’t had anyone who didn’t treat it with respect. My employees know. Many of my customers know because it’s a neighborhood coffee shop and you become friends.”
I wonder what consecrated virgins and women religious do at tax time? Mystically married to Christ or bride of Christ is not one of the options and besides how would you come up with his SSN?