I personally had to give up very little when I became Catholic. That’s because the little community I joined in 2000, Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, had already left such things as a beautiful building, beautiful music with a paid organist and good choir, pensions for priests and a professional level stipend behind in the late 1970s.
After doing “church in a box” in various locations, our community was able to buy a building so in a sense we’re ahead of the game relative to many other Ordinariate communities in the world that had to walk away from a great deal and are still meeting in borrowed churches, school gyms or other locations while they re-establish as Catholic churches.
Imagine your family has gone to a particular Anglican or Episcopal church for generations. They contributed to the beautiful stone building, to the stained glass windows, the music endowment, and are buried in the church cemetery. The parish has everything in terms of beauty of worship and surroundings except the faith has become increasingly compromised and one can no longer in good conscience remain.
I have so many times counted our many blessings that have come with full Catholic communion—but even without having to give up much in one sense, it was still immensely difficult and we did suffer the break up of our parish, and the loss of one third of our people.
What many of us have had to give up I’m afraid going to become more and more common for all churchgoers in the west, no matter what their denomination.
Demographics have changed and even in the Catholic Church there’s a shortage of priests, so beautiful old buildings that represent the tithes and sweat equity of previous generations are being deconsecrated and sold off as community centres, condos, and restaurants.