Every year in my prayers between Christmas and New year I pray for one word to guide me with the following year.

Seven years ago, the word I kept hearing in my prayers was PEACE. I thought this was hilarious. I was a single mother with three rather loud sons there was no peace in my household! I thought about everything in my life, I could not see how our Lord would be able to establish PEACE in my heart it was a futile situation.

I kept praying and PEACE came back time after time.

Several months passed.

I had not reflected on peace and I could feel myself slowly feeling less and less at peace. I started drifting away from the Catholic Church, I quit the Legion of Mary and I found myself skipping mass for something ‘more important’ till I no longer went to Mass. I would drop my son so he could serve whilst I attended a Protestant service and return in time to collect him.  I avoided phone calls from parishioners wanting to connect with me and ignored the parish priest emails.

I decided to attend one more Mass, then I would be at peace and I could turn my back and run far away from the Catholic Church. It was to be the Chrism Mass at the cathedral. My son was serving, and he eagerly wanted me to attend. I threw on my long satin skirt, my velvet jacket with lace bell sleeves pulled on my bat boots and off I went to attend my last ever Catholic Mass. I identified as being “Goth” and I firmly believed I did not belong at Mass. I was so wrong. The Chrism Mass was beautiful, yet I still did not have peace.

Afterwards, I sat down on the cathedral steps away from everyone else to enjoy supper and wait for my son.  I wondered if this was the peace I was seeking. A young man asked if he could have the seat next to me. He told me he was a seminarian then preceded to explain to me that one day he would be a priest and I should attend his ordination. I explained that I was going back to the Protestant Church I came from where I fitted in because Goths do not belong in the Catholic Church.

Then he exclaimed if I thought the Chrism Mass was beautiful then he had something even more beautiful to show me. We arranged to meet at the Carmelite Monastery a month later. He told me to bring myself and a scarf, a pretty one in a triangle shape. As he was serving before the Mass, he introduced me to a very large catholic family, all the females had a scarf placed on their head, so I placed the scarf on my head (later I discovered it is called a mantilla).

I watched the Latin Mass. I stood, I kneeled, I sat, I cried, and I felt peace.

I felt peace even though I did not understand a single word the priest was saying as the only Latin I understood I had learned from my protestant grandmother, Carpe Diem! (or maybe that was from Dead’s Poets society), I felt peace even though the priest was facing ad orientem and I could barely hear him.

God showed me seven years ago how great his love is for all who seek the truth. Even when we feel the situation is futile, he is working.  I did not know but the Holy Spirit was working to keep me in the Catholic Church, to introduce me to my best friend and give me a love of the Latin Mass.

If you are interested in experiencing the Latin Mass contact the Newcastle Traditional Latin Mass society at or look for them on Facebook.

Picture by twinsfisch from Unsplash

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