Copyright 2012 Rachel Chase
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“Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my body that will be given for you.” As the congregation, a small group attending the Saturday evening mass, watched from their kneelers, Father Nicolo Di Pietro repeated the process of consecration with the cup. “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant …”
Such was the shortage of available priests that Father Nico was the sole pastor for this small-town parish. Rather than feeling burdened, he relished the centrality of his role. When some of his parishioners—male as well as female—looked at him in a way that suggested an interest less spiritual than carnal, the handsome young cleric congratulated himself that God found him worthy to resist such temptations.