BY PATRICIA MONTEMURRI
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Judith Stegman wants to reclaim the word "virgin" from the jokes, satire and stigma.
When people ask whether she’s married, the 49-year-old Haslett resident replies, "Yes, and no."
"I’m not married to a man, but I’m far from being single," Stegman tells people. "I’m a consecrated virgin in the Catholic Church."
At a time when virginity is getting the Hollywood laugh-track treatment — the movie "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" opened Friday and was No. 1 at the box office over the weekend, raking in $20.6 million — Stegman wants to celebrate the V-word for its beauty and integrity.
"An important part of being this," she said, "is not to be afraid to say it."
But it took even Stegman a while to do so with a serene smile.
"I’m not remaining a virgin because I’m repressing some part of sexuality, or giving everything to my work, or refraining from loving relationships," Stegman said Friday. "I’m invited to a loving relationship with Christ."
continued at source URL: http://www.freep.com/news/religion/virgin23e_20050823.htm
Official website of Consecrated Virgins: