On Jan. 2, 2013, 12 fully habited nuns left their convent forever. They walked or were helped to a waiting coach. On board there were some suit-cases and bedding. They left with all they possessed.
So opened the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, given in Rome, at St Peter’s, on Nov. 4, 2009, the Memorial of St Charles Borromeo. It provided for the establishment of Personal Ordinariates through which Anglican faithful might enter, including in a corporate manner, into full communion with the Catholic Church. As it turned out, she was not alone in how she felt. Finally, Mother Winsome, herself now intent on becoming Catholic, called the whole community together. She told them that any sister wishing to be received into the Catholic Church “had to be prepared to walk down the drive with just what she could carry in a bag in her hand, leaving everything else behind, with-out any guarantees for the future, just going forward in blind faith in accordance with her conscience.”
In the end, 11 sisters, and a recently joined religious sister from another community, elected to make that walk. Three of the sisters were in their eighties, three were in their seventies, two of the sisters were prepared to leave the monastery’s Infirmary and the care they received there to follow the call of conscience. One of the more elderly members of the community said what many of them now felt: “I want to die a Catholic.”