ONLY a few relatives and friends attended the first Mass celebrated in Mainz by Fr. Rudolf Goethe, the married
convert evangelical minister, in the chapel of the Sisters of Mary Ward (or Die Englischen Fraulein, as they are called in Germany).
Fr. Goethe was assisted by the priests who had been his great friends and helpers in the days before his conversion and during his preparation for the priesthood.
Mgr. Stohr, Bishop of ISIainz„ who had ordained Fr. Goethe, was the first to receive the new priest's blessing in the sacristy after the ordination. and preached at the Mass.
Referring to St. Paul's words in the Epistle of the Mass, where priests arc called " the stewards of God's mysteries," Bishop Stohr pointed out that it was by God's graoe that the newly-ordained priest had not only been made a minister of the
Divine Word but had also been entrusted with the task of administering the sacraments. This ordination was not the outcome of human thinking or man's desire. he said.
• In the past," the Bishop continued, "schism had come into the Church over the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. May not the celebrations of the Holy Eucharist also restore the unity of the Church. " To obtain this unity we should invoke the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose intercession has been so apparent in this event and in this vocation, since this newlyordained priest always prayed to the Mother of Christ for many years previous to his conversion." Rudolph Goethe will not work in a parish but has been appointed in the chancellory of the diocese of Mainz.
His great knowledge of the evangelical church and the various trends towards unity in Germany will make him a powerful force in the movement of reunion with the Holy See.