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The St Barnabas Society, a registered charity, operates in Great Britain and Ireland and exists to provide pastoral and financial help on behalf of the whole Catholic community to former clergy ministers and religious from other churches, who live in Great Britain and Ireland, and who have been led by faith and conscience to come inito full communion with the Catholic Church. Find out more…


Recent convert cleric Keith Sylva writes:

Recent converts Keith Sylvia and family
Recent converts Keith Sylvia and family

I feel we have been most blessed on our journey from the Anglican Communion into the fellowship of the Catholic Church. I say ‘we’ because my wife and I, and our three grown up children made the journey together, and for this I give thanks to God, as the children are all old enough now to be outside the sphere of my influence (as a parent I like to think that at some stage they were in) and it could so easily have not been the case. After a brief period of instruction, we were received into the Catholic Church late July 2013, went on holiday almost immediately, returning to find a letter on the doormat asking if I could attend Seminary for the start of the academic year on 2 September 2013.

On the day of my arrival at the seminary it became clear that, although I was expected, no one knew what shape the coming year should take with regard to academic study. Invited by the Director of Studies to walk a circuit of the building we agreed what lectures I should sit, and what other timetabled events were significant in the life of the Seminary. The year passed ludicrously swiftly; nonetheless, it was a time of significant change, as each day bought a greater sense of belonging, and so a deeper peace.

The only cautionary tale in all this time was the rumor that those who were in a similar position to me, and who had trod this path before, were still after a year and a half waiting for their dispensations from Rome! Having resigned myself to the wait, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from Archbishop Peter that those papers had been received, not just in my case, but also for those other men who had been waiting. I am looking forward to my ordination to the Diaconate on 21 November 2014.

So, you see, we have been most blessed. In every way the transition has been silky smooth, perhaps too smooth some may say. However, the journey would not have been possible at all, no matter how much we longed to make it, if it had not been for the generous and continuing support of the Barnabas Society, not just financially (though that has been essential), but also through the prayers of William, Fr. Robin, Fr. Richard and the rest of the staff. Be assured, the work of the society and those you will be helping in the future will be a constant feature in our prayers also.

God bless.
Keith & Jacqueline, Lewis, Naomi & Benjamin Sylvia.

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