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‘I Feel I Have Arrived Home’: Former Anglican Bishop Discusses His Journey to the Catholic Church

“I honestly feel I have arrived home,” says Richard Pain, who, on July 2, became the 11th former Anglican bishop — and the first Anglican bishop of Wales — to be received into the Catholic Church through the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham since its creation in 2011.

In July 18 comments to the Register, the former Bishop of Monmouth in Wales discussed his journey to the Catholic Church and explained how, although he has found “a delightful home” in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, he does not see becoming a Catholic as “a panacea for those disillusioned by Anglicanism” but as “a step in the right direction for me personally.”

Born in London in 1956, Pain was ordained an Anglican priest in the Church in Wales at Newport Cathedral in 1986. He served all his ministry in the diocese of Monmouth, much of it in forming clergy, and was elected bishop of Monmouth in 2013. Married with two sons, he retired as bishop of Monmouth in 2019.

Of the 11 former Anglican bishops who have been received into the Catholic Church since 2011, eight have entered the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and three have joined a diocese. So far, nine have been ordained to the priesthood.


What led you to becoming an Anglican clergyman and how did you become a Church of Wales bishop?

My vocation started when I was about 13 and was nurtured by being a server at the local Anglican church. I believed God was calling me to be a priest and I followed the formation pathway, which eventually led me to being ordained in the Church in Wales. My ministry as a priest was centered around Monmouthshire, South Wales, and I served in parishes and then became an archdeacon. I was also greatly involved in the discernment and selection of clergy across Wales.

In the Church in Wales you are elected a bishop by the electoral college which comprises of clerical and lay representatives from the six dioceses of the province. It is a great honor to be elected by such a widely diverse group of Christians.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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