Announcement: Theme Posts

Hello everyone,

We’re going to be doing some innovative things on the Leonie’s Longing blog over the next couple of months, and I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what to expect!

Starting on the 22nd of September and leading up to her Feast Day on the 1st of October, a novena to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux will be posted on the blog for the intentions of all women who have left the religious life. You’re warmly invited to join us in a brief prayer and meditation each day in honour of the holy sister of our patroness Léonie.

In addition to this, there will be a number of extra posts based around a common theme: the lives of Léonie and Thérèse Martin. You’ll see these posts on the anniversaries of significant events (for example, the 1898 publication date of the first edition of The Story of a Soul at the end of September) and also scattered throughout October and November in the lead-up to the Year of Consecrated Life.

All of these posts are intended to complement the beautiful personal articles sent in to us by readers, which will be published as usual throughout these themed months. (Any readers who are interested in writing a post are most welcome to email me at blogcontact[at], too!)

God bless,


Welcome Back Jenni!

Hello everybody,

This is my first official announcement as Blog Mistress, which is quite exciting (for me, at least)!

Jenni contacted me at the end of June this year to ask whether I could look after the Leonie’s Longing blog during her journey to Europe – and, cheerfully unaware of the steep technological learning curve ahead of me, I said yes. After a couple of weeks of flooding both Jenni and Theresa with emails (“How does the Index function work? Why can’t I open the Topics document? Heeeeeelp!”), I had finally learnt enough to avoid mangling the blog hopelessly if left in charge of it, and Jenni set off across the Pond.

I’m pleased to let you know that she returned safely from her travels earlier this week, so, in theory, this is the point at which I should step aside and hand the blog back to her. But actually, I kind of like it here. No… to be more accurate, I really like it here: it’s an enormous privilege to get to know you, the authors and readers at Leonie’s Longing, and to hear the stories that have brought you here to this unique website. I have therefore accepted the post of Blog Mistress indefinitely – and am looking forward to it!

You’ll still see Jenni around: she has returned to her position as Vice President of Leonie’s Longing, and wanted to mention that my taking over the blog will free her to do other things for the ministry. I’d like to thank her for teaching me the ropes, and for offering me the chance to become involved with LL and the fantastic work that it does.

Any questions, comments and ideas for blog posts can be sent to me at blogcontent[at] You’ll also see me pottering around the site as Penny Rose – please feel free to say hello!

In Christ,



Introducing Penny

Hello, Leonie’s Ladies! This is Jenni, your Blog Mistress. Many of you have been in contact with me since I took over the blog in… I can’t remember, honestly. January, maybe? At any rate, I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be out of the country for about 6 weeks this summer. Since I’ll be in monasteries, I won’t have access to the internet. (The image for this post is a little hint about where I’ll be going.)

But no worries! The blog will go on, because Penny has graciously offered to be our Blog Mistress in my absence. So, if you write to the blogcontent[at] email address in the weeks to come, please don’t think it’s a typo when you see “Penny” instead of “Jenni” in the signature.

Penny is one of our blog authors, though I can’t tell you which one, cuz most of us use pseudonyms ’round here. (Except for me. My mom really calls me Jenni. Always has.) And since I’m making this rare announcement already, I’d like to take the opportunity to say to ALL our authors: YOU’RE AMAZING. Leonie’s Longing’s blog used to be a sporadic, maybe-once-a-month thing. Thanks to all of you, we’ve been able to post regular weekly blog posts for months now. We’re overjoyed, because we know that blogs help to build a sense of community and identification with others. And that is a MAJOR mission of Leonie’s Longing. We’ve even had emails from readers telling us how grateful they are that we’re posting more regularly now. That’s all YOUR doing.

If you’re a lady who has left religious life, and you’re still lurking out there on our blog (we know you’re out there, cuz we can see how many people read each post), please get in touch with us. We’re here for you, and we want to make you as much a part of our community as you want to be. So go ahead and introduce yourself to us by emailing Leonie’s Longing’s founder Theresa at contactus[at] We can put you on our prayer list, or our events notification list, or maybe even hook you up with other Leonie’s Ladies in your area. There’s lots of things we can do, but we can’t do nuthin’ unless you say hello!

Of course, if you have any questions about the blog, or want to share with all of Leonie’s Ladies your experience or your hard-earned advice about returning to the world, don’t email Theresa. Email Penny at blogcontent[at]!

Ever (but especially tomorrow…) in His Most Sacred Heart,


Ladies, Get (Us) Ready!

“Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where every bend may reveal a totally new landscape.” – C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed




What often comes to mind when we hear the word “grief” is mourning the loss of a loved one. Yet it encompasses so much more, including the loss of an ideal, a community, or a way of life. Leaving the convent is a time when we often experience these emotions, but may not understand or comprehend what is happening. For some, it may be mourning the loss of community, the structured way of life, or even our identity itself. Feelings of denial, isolation, anger, bargaining with God, and depression are a part of the grieving process and the human experience, but can be ignored or pushed aside. By embracing our humanity and Christ’s never-ending mercy, we can obtain acceptance and peace.


On Thursday, May 29th, we’ll be exploring the stages of grief and discussing healthy ways of coping with this painful experience for those have left the religious life. We sincerely hope you join us as we journey through this “valley” together!


– Wendy Macagno, Webchat Discussant

As many of you already know, Leonie’s Longing’s next Live Webchat will take place this Thursday, May 29th, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. In order to ensure that the webchat covers questions of concern to you, our readers, we’re using this blog post to ask you to let us know anything specific you might want us to cover on Thursday.

If you have a question, comment, or just something you’d like to share with the Webchat Discussants before they go live, please use the comment boxes below to tell us. (Responding to one another’s comments/questions to “+1″ them will let us know which topics are of concern to the most people, so please feel free to do that, too!)

Of course, you can also send us questions/comments via Facebook and Twitter, if you prefer. These outlets will be monitored both before and during the Live Webchat to guide our Discussants’ conversation.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂


A Labor of Love

In honor of St. Joseph the Worker, I thought I’d write a little update about the ministry on launch week. Thank you for checking out the page!

May 1 is an opportunity to reflect on labor and work and this ministry has certainly involved a great deal of hard work by a fantastic team. But we would not have been able to do this without the prayers of so many people. The outpouring of support these last two days has been phenomenal.

Today’s Gospel was from John 15, where Jesus speaks of the vine and the branches. You can read it here.

This is a beautiful passage for reflection, and I think it holds special significance for anyone who has left the religious life or seminary. As Msgr. Reilly said at Mass today, pruning means changing and thus growth. Though returning back to the world can feel like a death, one can view it as “extreme pruning.”

Please keep checking the site because new blogs will be posted at least once a week. If you would like to receive email updates from Leonie’s Longing, you can sign up at

Or you can always follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus (see the icons in the lower right corner).

God bless, and St. Joseph, pray for us!

By Theresa Jasko

Theresa is currently the President of Leonie’s Longing. You can read more about her on the “Our Board” page.