Name of fictional book that begins with the priest being murdered as he celebrates the last mass on earth?

Years ago I read a fictional book with following the story line in the opening chapter: The last underground mass on earth was being celebrated, the last priest on earth is murdered at the altar, and a series of cataclysmic events follows.
My daughter has recently asked me the name of this book. The book has long ago been donated.

Would anyone have an idea of the name/author of such a book?

Thank you,

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Mr. Blue, by Myles Connolly?

(I’m not familiar with the book. I just found it by searching “novel last priest on earth.”)

Definitely not Mr. Blue! Completely different story line. But I don’t know which novel you are speaking of–something apocalyptic, so maybe Michael O’Brien?

Within the book, Mr. Blue, Blue does tell his companion a storyline for a movie about the last priest on earth, but that’s not the main aspect of the novel.

Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson?

No, that ENDS with the last Pope (Pope Sylvester) celebrating Mass and the start of Armageddon.

I’m wondering if it’s The Late Great Planet Earth?

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Oh, you’re right. I haven’t read The Late Great Planet Earth, but wasn’t that a big evangelical Protestant bestseller in the ‘70s and ‘80s? Interesting if it opened with a priest being martyred.

I’d never read it either but was hoping somebody would pop on who remembered it. I did suffer through Left Behind and I know it’s not that because of course the good Pope who was bringing things back to more “Lutheran theology’ was raptured in the beginning, and the fellow who was offered the office did so to be called Pontifex Maximus and didn’t end up well. Typical!

Thank you all for your contributions. I’ve checked the titles you all mentioned. None of these are the book i read.

Not Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz, perhaps?

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Does not begin with the last mass on earth.

I wonder if the book the op read is an obscure, self published book

I haven’t recognized it yet! Thank you for all the suggestions!

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