So what to say? I was a Poor Clare Sister in Spokane, Washington for 28 years. In June of 2009 I was given the opportunity to go to Guest House an addiction treatment center for women religious. While I was in treatment (8 months) I discerned that the cloistered, monastic life was no longer the place I wanted to be. I loved the sisters but the life was becoming increasingly confining and difficult for me.
I was not using any drugs or alcohol in the monastery but I am an addict and I found other things to be addicted to. Mostly work. Which seems like a very noble thing to be involved with but it’s not when done to excess.
I had been in a drug rehabilitation center a year before entering the monastery. I thought that religious life would be enough recovery for me, but it was not. I did not use or abuse but I was not in recovery. In AA it’s called being a “dry drunk.”
During my time at Guest House I prayed so many rosaries I practically overdosed on them. But out of that prayer and discernment I found a new peace with God. I discovered I did not have to “please” God – God was already pleased with me. I found that I could serve God, thirty, sixty and even a hundred-fold outside of the monastery as well as inside.
It was not an easy choice to make. For many months I felt that I would die if I left or die if I remained. It was so much a part of me to be a nun I did not know how to be anything else. But I have found a new freedom, a new self and a new life.
In February 2011 I received dispensation from my vows and am now back to being just plain Patricia. Still very much in love with and dependent upon God but not in a monastery.
You can read a bit more of how I came to be at this particular stage of my spiritual journey, here.
I do believe that God is with me each step of the way. Every night I put myself totally in His hands for guidance – my saintly mentor for this Journey is Saint Anthony. Not that I have been lost or found but that he took the risk to leave one calling for another.
I also have put myself as a member of our Blessed Mother’s 100 percent club. Meaning that I put my life – totally – one hundred per cent in her hands. I read about this in the autobiography of Patrick Peyton and have been a solid believer in this ever since.
Thank you for joining with me on my journey into recovery – one day at a time.
May God Bless you with all Peace and all Good,