The next morning we all met at the Motherhouse of the Cenacle Nuns where I was to celebrate my first Mass. Once again the chapel was filled with friends... The procession formed and we entered to the singing of Cardinal Newman's hymn, Lead, Kindly Light. I still couldn't believe it was I who was saying Mass. "In the Name of the Father, and of the... ," I bowed low for the prayers at the foot of the altar... Tomorrow, I say Mass at St. Peter's. I contrasted the splendor of St. Peter's with the simplicity of St. Patrick's. I thought back to that procession of children in the little tiny church... The day after tomorrow, I am going to say Mass at St. Mary Major's, then St. Paul's; the day after that, we are going to Assisi to say Mass at the tomb of St. Francis: then the following day, we will celebrate the Eucharist in the catacombs. John was reading the Gospel...

At the offertory, Jackie brought up the chalice; Mum would have done it if she were still alive. I must remember to pray for her.

Now, the moment arrived! I will never forget it. I took the bread into my hands. My hands don't seem to be mine any more. Why do I feel so weak? "This is my Body!" I raised the Host. The bell was ringing and so was my head. I gazed at the Host. This is the Body of Christ! My hands seem to be detached from my body. I took the cup. "This is the cup... ," I lifted the cup. Now, I feel like I have never felt beforeā€“I feel as if God is lifting me. Now, I know what it is to be a priest.

Playboy To Priest
Fr. Kenneth Robert