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Judith Stegman - First president of 
the U.S. Association 
of Consecrated 
Virgins (USACV) from
 the Diocese of Lansing

Judith's work has meaning because it is founded on faith in Jesus Christ

Judith Stegman - First president of the U.S. Association of Consecrated Virgins (USACV) from  the Diocese of Lansing 

Q: How is your faith the foundation of your role as president of the U.S. Association of Consecrated Virgins?

A: My work with the United States Association of Consecrated Virgins would have no meaning if the work was not founded on faith in Jesus Christ, Bridegroom of the Church. The consecrated virgin is “mystically espoused to Christ, the Son of God,” and her particular role in the Church is to be a sign of the Church’s spousal love for Christ, and “an eschatological image of the world to come and the heavenly Bride of Christ.” This hope-filled image guides my dreams and work with the members of the USACV.

Q: Is there a person who inspired you along the way?

A: Many people have inspired me along the way! I’ll name just a few of those who have encouraged me to follow this call of service to the vocation of consecrated virginity: Raymond Cardinal Burke (the first Episcopal liaison for the USACV); Bishop Earl Boyea (the current Episcopal liaison); and consecrated virgins Dr. Magalis Aguilera of Miami, Karen Bussey of Lansing, Mary Kay Lacke of Steubenville, and Loretta Matulich of Portland in Oregon. Each of them, and others, have encouraged me to focus on what it is that the Lord is calling forth at any given moment, and to give myself fully to that end, without counting the cost.

Q: Tell us a defining moment in your ministry.

A: Each defining moment has involved my saying “yes” to an unexpected call from the Lord to move ahead without fear into an unknown. One such time was deciding to sell my accounting business in order to devote more time to the USACV. Other moments involved the deepened understanding I had received from the Church of the true meaning of this ancient virginal vocation: I needed to learn how to credibly present this rich understanding to the secularized and sex-saturated culture in which we live, and to encourage young virgins to faithfully live their bridal vocation of love for Christ.

Q: What would you tell your younger self about not giving up on achieving your goals?

A: Truly, if God is with us, who can be against us? I would tell my younger self to not be afraid to move ahead as the Lord calls, asking others for advice in difficult situations, always recalling the faithfulness of the Eternal Father, and entrusting all to the maternal care of our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary of Nazareth.