On October 6 Archbishop Vincent Nichols celebrated Mass in Westminster Cathedral for the St Barnabas Society (SBS).
He was assisted by Bishop Alan Hopes and Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, and 15 other concelebrants, many of them former beneficiaries of the society.
The SBS was set up in 1896 by Cardinal Vaughan as the Converts’ Aid Society at the request of Pope Leo XIII to support convert clerics who were received into the Catholic Church.
In his homily, Archbishop Nichols spoke of Blessed John Henry Newman and his three conversions: first as a teenager, to a personal faith in God and to Evangelical Christianity, secondly, to the Church as the vehicle of saving truths and finally to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church and union with the See of Peter.
At a reception at Archbishop’s House, in the presence of some 80 invited guests, Archbishop Nichols thanked the SBS for its work and its support of those in need, as did Mgr Newton, who reminded those present that the only true motive for coming into the Catholic Church was to seek full communion with the See of Peter and not a reaction to anything which might occur in the Church of England.
He predicted that the ordinariate would swell in numbers in future years but thought that the number of clergy coming into full communion in the traditional way, by seeking to join dioceses, was also likely to increase.
In thanking the two speakers SBS chairman Gerald Soane reminded guests that due to the increasing calls on its benevolence the SBS greatly needed additional sources of income. He especially asked guests to pray for the society.
For more information visit Stbarnabassociety.org.uk or call 01865 513377.