For a Consecrated Virgin in Bangladesh, Jesus is ‘my joy’
Dora D’Rozario combines the charisma of chastity to her skills as a catechism teacher and preacher at retreats. There are 11 consecrated virgins in the country. “I received my virtues from God for free,” she noted, “and I freely give them to others. I do not ask to be paid in my work as guide, catechist, preacher in retreats. I receive unlimited pleasure from giving myself.”
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – In Bangladesh "I preach the Good News, the teachings of the Bible, prayers and catechism. Preaching the Gospel is my pleasure. Jesus is my joy,” said Dora D’Rozario, 60, speaking to AsiaNews.
A guide and member of the Order of Consecrated Virgins living in the World (OCV) for the past 34 years, she has faced several challenges, such as "always explaining why I don't want to get married, a question that comes back all the time and is disturbing to many of us,” she said.
Still, “Our life is offered in sacrifice to Jesus Christ,” she explained. She is one of 11 consecrated virgins in Bangladesh, women who choose a special form of consecration that allows them to continue their regular life without taking the veil or live in community.
"Most of us live at home,” Dora explained. “Some work as teachers, in the private sector, with NGOs, as nurses in the hospital, or are paid to teach catechism courses.”
As a member of Friends of the World association and charismatic renewal team in Bangladesh, which is part of the Episcopal Commission for liturgy and prayer, she helps write liturgical texts. Sometimes, “I also guide the spiritual retreats of nuns for three to four days,” she explained.
Following Art 604 of the Code of Canon Law, “I accepted the pledge of virginity. We virgins follow Jesus in life; our pastoral work is to lead prayers and teach the Bible. We respect some rules that show us the way to Jesus Christ.”
Sometimes she invites Catholic women who do not want to marry to seminaries on the life of consecrated virgins. “They could eliminate disappointment with the Catholic Church by joining us and pledge to remain virgins. Some try to understand our lives, most do not accept our invitation. Before participating in the seminar, people think that [our life] is like that in a convent.”
The Extraordinary Missionary Month, which just ended, "was very important,” she said. “It reminded us that missionary work is relevant and [inspired us] to work even more intensely.”
As for her life, she said “I received my virtues from God for free and I freely give them to others. I do not ask to be paid in my work as guide, catechist, preacher in retreats. I receive unlimited pleasure from giving myself.”
Finally, she noted that “there is a great need for more consecrated virgins who bear witness to God” in Bangladesh.