The England and Ireland-based St. Barnabas Society gave over $160,000 to help Anglican priests make the transition into the Catholic Church.
“It is a very generous gesture and one that will be widely appreciated,” Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols said on April 15. “It is a concrete expression of the generosity which the Holy Father asked us to show towards those who are seeking full communion in the Catholic Church.”
About 20 priests and 600 lay people from around England were expected to enter the Church this past weekend. Five former Anglican bishops and their wives were among the first to join the Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate, this past Jan. 15.
Many of the priests left behind their former Anglican parishes and salaries in the move and are having to rely on the ordinariate for financial support. On April 15, Our Lady of Walsingham announced that that it had received $160,000 (100,000 pounds) from the St. Barnabas Society.
The organization said it viewed financial assistance to new Catholics as vital, since many will lose not only their jobs but also their homes as well. The money will be distributed among the clergy and religious in response to their individual needs in the period between their reception into the Catholic Church at Easter and their ordination at Pentecost.
The St. Barnabas Society is funded by donations from Catholic congregations, individuals, and estates. Over the year, it has helped other former clergy and religious from a variety of denominations who have become Catholic.