Abbé Fernand Portal

Malines Conversations (Member, 1921-1926)

Fernand Portal was born in 1855 in Laroque, France and after school he entered the seminary, being ordained a priest of St. Vincent de Paul’s Congregation of the Mission, also known as Lazarists or Vincentians, at the age of 25. The Lazarists are a congregation of secular priests with religious vows, with a vocation to work among the poorest and most under-privileged, who also became the inspiration for the Society of the Holy Cross in the Anglican Church, to which many of today’s Ordinariate priests belonged. He is called an “apostle of unity” on account of his many efforts to establish better relations between Anglicans and the Holy See. He worked for this cause especially during the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, who was exploring the possibility of union with the Anglican Church.