Transitions in the life experience of resigned priests

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Counseling


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Counseling and Educational Psychology

Thesis Adviser

Nino Jose Mateo

Defense Panel Chair

Leo Capedeng

Defense Panel Member

Jerome Ouano
Alicia Estrellado


This qualitative case study explored the experiences of the resigned Roman Catholic priests in the Philippines. This study was designed to answer the following questions: What are the circumstances surrounding the resignation from priesthood? What are the challenges they encounter after their resignation from priesthood? How do they cope with the challenges and adapt to the new life role? The primary source of data was personal interview of the seven participants: five of them are Filipinos and two Europeans four among them are diocesans and three belong to the religious congregations. Six out of the total seven respondents resigned in their 30s. The themes that emerged out of the analysis formed the findings of the study. An overall discontent as well as gradual desocialization were the precipitating factors leading to resignation from priesthood. Besides the number of other factors that make the post resignation period challenging, social stigma factor accounted for a major variable that makes the entire post resignation period more arduous in comparison to Career transition in the corporate world. The coping with the challenges and adaptation to new life role becomes possible according to the capacity of the person who is going through the transition, to access the available external and internal resources. But two factors accounted for the major role in the transition finale: having a baby and laicization. These findings are very special to this study conducted in the Philippine context. Resigned priests transition comes to a successful completion when society recognizes their new identity. The findings of this study have implication for midlife career transitions as well as other kinds of transitions that people go through.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

leaves ; 4 3/4 in.

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