CNS PHOTO | COURTESY OF IAN HELLYER

Ian Hellyer and his wife, Margaret, pose for a family photo with seven of their eight children at their home in southwest England.

May 9, 2011

It’s a brave decision for Ian Hellyer to give up his job when he has to provide for eight children and his wife is pregnant with the couple’s ninth child.

But Hellyer is losing no sleep over his decision.

He believes he is answering God’s call to become a Catholic priest in the newly created Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

On Palm Sunday, he formally gave up his $33,000 yearly salary as rector of four Church of England parishes in the Dartmoor area of southwest England.

On Holy Thursday, during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Benedictine Buckfast Abbey in Devon, he was confirmed by Abbot David Charlesworth.

His wife, Margaret, and children, who are already Catholic, were his sponsors.

Hellyer then made his first Communion as a Catholic, joined by 12 members of the ordinariate group he will lead after his ordination to the Catholic priesthood June 17.

“I truly feel that this is God’s call, and there has been nothing to make me think that it isn’t,” he told Catholic News Service.

“It has been a wonderful, wonderful journey.”