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A threatened life of service

Theresa is an unusual type of person in the Catholic Church. Although everyone in her parish in China addresses her as Sister and recognises her as a religious, she is in fact a lay person, although not quite the conventional type.
Theresa belongs to the tradition of consecrated virgins, Catholic women who choose to remain celibate for their whole lives. They do not join a religious congregation and usually work under the direction of the local bishop.