Former St. Louis Teacher Becomes 175th Consecrated Virgin in U.S.

April 2, 2006 - Posted at 12:28 p.m. CST

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A 60-year-old St. Louis woman made history for

her diocese yesterday by marrying Jesus.

Cathy Maley took part in the rare Catholic rite of becoming a

consecrated virgin. As opposed to nuns, who also ritualistically

marry Jesus, consecrated virgins keep their day jobs and must

financially support themselves.

Maley is a former teacher. She says she's known since she was a

teenager that she would remain a virgin and serve God. But she says

she didn't want to have to live in a convent as a nun but

evangelize in the secular world.

Archbishop Raymond Burke presided over Maley's almost two-hour

ceremony, which he says was the first in the St. Louis

Archdiocese's history and the third he's ever performed. Maley is

now one of only 175 American consecrated virgins still alive.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)