I attended my first traditional Latin mass in January of 2011. A priest friend of mine was learning to say the TLM, and was diaconating the solemn high mass for the feast of the Epiphany. At the time, I had no knowledge of what I was about to experience, and minimal interest other than the novelty of a mass outside my native tongue. As I fumbled through the missal, I routinely found frustration in the lack of 'availability' of the mass to my cognitive abilities.
Suddenly, during the consecration, my focus was abruptly shifted to what was happening on the altar. Prior to that evening, I had never attended a mass ad orientem, and I was struck with this sense of awe and reverence for the sacrificial quality of the transubstantiation. That night, I walked away with a newfound respect for the priesthood, a realization of the masculinity required to offer the eucharistic sacrifice of the mass.
I continued to parish-hop until October when I found my way back to the TLM offered here in Cincinnati, and this time, I couldn't stay away. I began talking to everyone I could find about it, reading all I could, and learning about what I was missing all these years. In the year since, the TLM has become more than a vehicle for fulfilling my Sunday obligation as a Catholic, but the center of my relationship to Christ & His Church. I often wonder why in the post-conciliar state of confusion in the Church that more people have not found their way to this gem of our Catholic faith. That question of why has caused me to dive even deeper to find the root of our current state.
This is why I'm here. I thank God every day for his Mercy in leading me on this journey, and I am eternally grateful to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the most significant step to date in shepherding the Church back toward its roots in Sacred Tradition through the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. I look forward to the continuation of my journey in the same direction of true unity with Christ & His Church.