For the Woman Transitioning
You are not alone.
Most likely the reason why you have made it to this webpage is because you find yourself in a situation you never thought you would be in. Discerning to follow the Lord on a different path from the one you initially expected for your life is nothing short of courageous. Perhaps you don’t feel that way now, but those of us at Leonie’s Longing know it is. We’ve lived it and we are here for you.
You may be looking for support, but don’t know where to turn or even if you’re ready. While there is no set of exact instructions for how to navigate this time of transition from religious life, there is one guiding principle that you might consider as your foundation – be gentle with yourself. You are first and foremost a beloved daughter of the Father, who loves you infinitely. In this time, try to let Him hold you in His arms. The rest will unfold.
Below are simply some suggestions that might help you take just the next step. Our main goal is community, but we also know that you have physical, spiritual and emotional needs.
Suggestions to help take the next step…
Diocesan Vocations Office
Though this may seem counter-intuitive, we encourage you to contact the vocations office at your local diocese. Explain that you have left the convent and returned to the world and ask if they have any resources available to you. They may know about local charities who can provide you with clothes, for instance, or perhaps a priest who could help you with spiritual direction.
Next, you can search online for Catholic charities in your area. There are many which offer a wide range of services, including counseling. You can also contact service organizations, like St. Vincent de Paul, and find out what they may have to offer. For example, the St. Vincent de Paul store in my area gives three outfits free of charge to anyone in need. You can also see if there is a social services department at your diocese (if that is what you need). For example, not only might they have recommendations for a counselor, they could have access to financial resources. I know someone who was referred to a counselor by the diocese and also given a United Way grant which covered the full cost of a number of counseling sessions.
You may wish to speak with a dedicated Catholic counselor who understands the journey you have made. A completely confidential and Catholic Licensed Professional Counselor, who believes in the work of Leonie’s Longing, has made herself available to speak with you by phone. Simply let us know of your interest and we can put you in touch with her. This may be a great way to begin your healing journey with complete anonymity. The first three sessions are free to you. If you wish to continue, the two of you will work out payment to fit your budget.
You can also ask your parish priest or other members of the parish for thoughts and assistance. Often there are people willing to help if you just ask. For instance, many young women have difficulty getting car insurance after returning because they have not been on a policy for so long. In this situation, there may be a parishioner who works in this field and could lend you a hand.
We have someone willing to review resumes and provide feedback and suggestions. Please fill out the Contact Form and let us know you would like assistance.
Finally, you can fill out our contact form and tell us what you need. Often it is difficult to ask for help or know where to begin. Please tell us where you are located and what you are looking for and we will do our best to help. But most importantly, if you would like, you will be added to our prayer list.