The following comes from a May 29 story in the Fresno Bee.

Victoria Selkirk on Sunday became the first person within the Diocese of Fresno to join a special order within the Roman Catholic Church for people who promise to live a life of chastity.

Those within the Order of Virgins continue to live “in the world” and do not reside in convents, like nuns. It’s estimated there are fewer than 300 in the United States, and between 5,000 and 6,000 worldwide.

Selkirk, 36, of Lemoore, will continue to work as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, serving as a registered dietician.

Bishop Armando Ochoa administered a special ceremony during the Sunday morning Mass at St. John’s Cathedral in Fresno, praying over Selkirk, who wore a long white wedding gown. Ochoa said she “awaits Christ, the bridegroom.”

Selkirk has had lots of friends try to play matchmaker over the years, but her heart was totally settled on Jesus Christ.

“One of my friends’ first questions was, ‘But what happens if you meet someone?’ ” Selkirk recalled earlier. “I said, ‘I’ve already met him, and he’s mine.’ 

During Sunday’s ceremony, those in the pews prayed with Selkirk and the bishop, who also addressed each of the Catholic saints. Catholics believe a consecration calls down God’s grace upon a person.

“Lord, look with favor on this, your handmaiden, Victoria,” Ochoa prayed. “She places in your hands her resolve to live in chastity. You have offered her this, her intention; now she gives it to you in her heart. … You give to some the grace of virginity, yet the honor of marriage is in no way lessened.”

As a younger woman, Selkirk went on some dates, but never fell in love or felt a desire to be married – although she’s not against the institution of marriage.

“I will say that I’m attracted to men, there’s no doubt … but what’s set before me is so incredibly alluring; it’s Jesus Christ,” Selkirk said. “He draws me into his heart….”