Throughout his entire life Fr. Paul Wattson, the founder of the Society of Antonment, was always devoted to the urgent reconciliation of Christians. His fervent desire for unity led him to convert to Catholicism from his Anglican faith and in 1907 to begin one of his greatest apostolates: the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Wattson’s path towards Catholicism was not a simple one. James Publisi, the current minister general of the Society of Antonement, told L’Osservatore Romano that after many years of reflection about reconciliation, the centrality of Rome and the papacy, Wattson decided to publicly renounce the doctrinal positions of the Anglican communion, which he called “absolutely untenable,” because it was neither completely Anglican nor could it be considered Catholic.
Wattson was accompanied in his journey by Lurana White, also an Anglican, with whom he founded the Society of Atonement in 1898. The society is dedicated to the work of reconciliation among Christians and to the missions. Like Wattson, Ms. White converted to the Catholic faith, together with various members of their society and 10 others in 1909.