FATHER ANDREW WOULD LIKE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST, ADORATION AND THE EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE. 

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Questions PREVIOUSLY ANSWERED:

Q: What are the earliest sources where we have explicit written documents whereby priests are shown as exclusively being able to consecrate the Eucharist? I am aware of Paul's writings and the fact that in the Old Testament only priests were able to offer sacrifice, however, I am looking to discover where it is specifically written as official church doctrine or at least something that clearly as much.

A: We can look to both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition to answer this question. First, let’s take a look at Sacred Tradition. The Didache is a very early document dated to between 50 and 150AD. On the priesthood, it says, “Ordain therefore for yourselves bishops and deacons, worthy of the Lord … for they also minister to you the ministry of the prophets and teachers” (Didache, 15). Notice that it is for the sacrifice that bishops and deacons are to be ordained. Also, deacons in the early Church were men who were preparing for the priesthood. From the very beginning, the early Church took it for granted that priests were the only ones who were able to offer the sacrifice of the Eucharist. Now let’s look at Sacred Scripture. “The liturgy of the Church…sees in the priesthood of Aaron and the service of the Levites…a prefiguring of the ordained ministry of the New Covenant” (CCC, 1540). This priesthood was instituted at the Last Supper when Jesus enjoins His apostles to, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). This authority was given to the apostles by Jesus Himself “’As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained’” (John 20: 21-23). It wasn’t until the Protestant Reformation that the legitimacy and role of the priesthood was questioned.


Q: I often hear the term “in Persona Christi” associated with the priest. What does that mean?

A: In Persona Christi is how the Priest ministers at Mass and performs other Sacraments like Reconciliation. It is Latin for “in the Person of Christ”. This authority was given to the Apostles by Christ Himself. Jesus said, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Lk 10:16) and “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:22–23). At Mass, the Priest is not there to call attention to himself. He is not the center of the Mass. The Priest must decrease, so that the Lord may increase. What the Priest does is not of his own making. Instead, the Priest is a servant and Christ works through him to perform the miracles of the Eucharist and the rest of the sacraments. 


  Q: As a Eucharistic minister, what do I do if the recipient walks away without consuming the Holy Eucharist?

A: Before I answer this question, I would like to go back and talk about how the community should receive the Host. When you reach the Eucharistic Minister, you should bow to reverence the presence of Jesus in the Host.  Then, prepare your hands to receive the Eucharist with one hand on top of the other slightly cupped. Your dominant hand (the one you eat with) should go underneath the other.  In this way, you are making “a little throne for Jesus,” as St. Cyril of Jerusalem said around 400 AD. The priest or Eucharistic Minister will hold up the Host and say, “the Body of Christ.” Your response is, “Amen.”  The Eucharistic Minister will place the Host in your hand. Take the Host and put it in your mouth; do not walk away without consuming the Host.  The question then becomes, what is a Eucharistic Minister to do if someone walks away without consuming the Host? I encourage our Eucharistic Ministers with any questions to reach out to Barbara Sentner, at bsentner@holyeucharist.org.


Q: Some people cannot take the same Eucharist, and they get a special host, why?

A: People with a gluten allergy or intolerance are unable to consume a regular Host. Therefore, we provide a low gluten option for them. The individual should see the sacristan at least 15 minutes before Mass so they can be accommodated. The communicant will then be offered the box of low gluten Hosts, which are individually wrapped. They will then remove the wrapped low gluten Host, unwrap it and place it in the pyx, which is a small, pill shaped box designed to hold several altar bread themselves. This pyx is then put in Father Andrew’s ciborium. When the communicant comes forward to receive communion, he or she will self-identify as the individual with the pyx. Father Andrew will hand the individual the pyx and he or she will open and consume the Host. Now that we are receiving from the cup as well, those with a gluten allergy or intolerance can also consume the Precious Blood instead of the Host, except from Father Andrew’s chalice which has small piece of Host within it. If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, we want to work with you. Be aware, this is NOT a gluten free Host. According to Catholic doctrine, altar bread must contain a very minute bit of wheat; if you have a severe allergy, please keep this in mind.


Q.  If as Catholics we do not take the Bible literally, then why do we take the part where Jesus says, “This is my body” literally?

A.  This is a great question. There is some nuance to the idea that Catholics do not take the Bible literally. Rather than looking at the Bible as a book, it is more helpful to look at it as a library with a collection of books inside it.  Looking at the Bible this way, we can see that the Bible contains creation stories, historical narratives, wisdom literature, poetry, and parables. Each book of the Bible needs to be read with the type of literature it is in mind.  This brings us to the Gospels…Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. At the end of the Gospel of John (John 24:21), he says that he “is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.” John wrote his Gospel to be a true account of the life and teachings of Jesus so that people would come to know the Good News of Jesus Christ. This brings us to the question at hand. Why do we take the part where Jesus says, “This is my body” literally?  In chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, Jesus says at the end of what we call the Bread of Life Discourse that ”unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink by blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink”  (John 6:53-55). These words of Jesus were so puzzling to the disciples that many abandoned Him. However, these words were recalled by the disciples and connected to the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. From the very beginning of the Church, the community believed that Jesus meant it when He said “This is my body given for you.” There is a lot more that could be said about this. 


Q.  What do the vestments mean? What do they represent?

A.  The vestments are the liturgical garments that priests and deacons wear during the Mass.  The priest will wear, over his black clerical shirt, pants and collar, an alb, a white floor length garment, which is a symbol of baptism.  The cincture (a rope belt) is worn as a symbol of chastity.  The stole is a long narrow strip of colored fabric that goes over both shoulders to show priestly authority.  A deacon also wears a stole, but his is placed over his left shoulder, and it lays diagonally over his chest, secured on his right side.  It symbolizes that he shares in the sacrament of holy orders.  The final article of clothing is a chasuble.  It is the outer garment that goes over everything.  Father Mike Schmitz has beautifully explained in the Altaration program, used by our Level 7 Confirmation Candidates, that the function of the chasuble and the rest of the liturgical garments is to detract attention from the priest and point to Christ who he is representing as the celebrant of the Mass.  Both the stole and the chasuble reflect the color for the liturgical year.  Now we are in Easter season so the garments are white and gold.  When we move back into Ordinary Time this summer, the vestments will be green. CLICK HERE for a document with more details on the vestments and their meanings


Q: Do we really need a clever money commercial at the Offertory?  Would think this time could be better spent thinking about what is going on at the altar.

A.  The concept of the Offertory message that we are using now grew out of the pandemic.  We needed to educate the community about how they could give to the parish.  It evolved into a way to communicate why giving to the parish is so vitally important not just to the financial bottom line of the parish but also to the spiritual growth of disciples within our community.  The Offertory message has been one of several consistent tools that we have been using to change the culture of giving within the parish and it is bearing fruit in the weekly collections.  However, the Offertory is a time to offer not just our treasure but also our hearts, prayers, intentions on the altar as well.  This is why the message recently has been followed by a song to nurture that time of personal prayer.


Q: Q: My husband and I were not married in the Church so I cannot be the Catholic godparent or sponsor for my sister’s children. What can I do?

A: This is a great question. It is true that Catholics who exchange vows in the presence of ministers from other religious traditions or civil officials are considered married in the eyes of the Catholic Church but not in the sacrament of matrimony. Whatever the circumstances that brought you and your husband to this point, the Church invites you to embrace the vocation of your marriage and work towards having your marriage convalidated. The process of convalidation brings your marriage sacramentally into the Church. Every situation is different so talking to someone who can walk you through the steps of convalidation is necessary. At Holy Eucharist, Deacon Joe leads this important and healing ministry. You can contact him at jdeluca@holyeucharist.org or 609-268-8383 x114. Want more information? Here is a link to the steps of having a marriage convalidated in the Diocese of Trenton: https://dioceseoftrenton.org/convalidation


Q: Why do we not have a Tabernacle in our Sanctuary? The little room where our Tabernacle is located is small and dark. Very few people seem to go in to pray. When I go in, there's the sound of people talking in the hallway, not conducive to prayer. Could we have a Tabernacle in the large chapel?

A: The Worship Space was originally intended to be an open space for a variety of purposes…not just for worship. All of the furniture in the Worship Space was chosen so that it could be moved. The chairs were not nailed to the floor like traditional pews with kneelers are. Even the platform that the altar is on can be moved. The Tabernacle was intentionally placed in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel so that alternative events could be held in the Worship Space and Daily Chapel. Today, other than the chairs in the Worship Space, the furniture is rarely moved. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel where the Tabernacle is kept is small and the lights are dimmed to provide a reverent atmosphere. It is true that people can be chatty in the hallway especially on the weekend. However, the walls of the room itself are lined with noise cancelling material like our Reconciliation Chapel. In the past, we had a sign that instructs people to be quiet by the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, and we will have another sign put outside the Chapel to encourage people to observe a respectful silence.  Also, those who are in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel are welcomed to close the door if needed while praying and then leave it open when they leave. 


Q: Are there instances of saints describing Jesus as departing from the Eucharistic species in cases such as profanation, unworthy reception or improper disposition of the recipient? If so, are such descriptions theologically valid? ( I seem to recall such writings. Personally, I would guess Jesus could do as he sees fit.)

A: The Catechism of the Catholic states that “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist” (CCC 1377). That means that until the Host is consumed, Jesus is present. While I cannot find evidence of the Eucharistic presence departing from the consecrated Bread and Wine, it seems unlikely that this would occur. It is in humility that Jesus gives us His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist to nourish us. This humility also makes Himself vulnerable to be profaned and received unworthily. And this is why it is so important that we are reverent in the presence of and when receiving the Eucharist.


Q: Will our choirs (adult/ teen/ children) eventually return to the parish so that parishioners of most ages may offer their gifts of voice to the parish community during liturgies?

A: Right now, the Music Ministry works more like a band than a choir. The band configuration grew out of the pandemic and suits our contemporary music repertoire.  The choice of contemporary music is intentional…we hope to attract those not worshipping with us and really engage them in the liturgy. That said, there are certainly times in the liturgy that lend themselves to a choir. However, there are no plans to bring back the choirs at this time.


Q: Are there special times in our parish when the bells are run during the Eucharist to proclaim the miracle of the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ?

A: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2000, #150) stipulates that a bell may be rung regularly at two places during the Mass: First, just before the consecration, the minister may ring a bell as a signal to the people. The ringing of the bell alerts the congregation to the calling down of the Holy Spirit and prepares them for the consecration that immediately follows. Second, after the priest says the words of consecration, he elevates the Sacred Host or the chalice of Precious Blood. The ringing of the bell again alerts the faithful that transubstantiation has taken place and that the Body and Blood of our Lord is truly present on the altar. However, it is left to the discretion of the pastor whether a bell should be used or not. Here at Holy Eucharist, we do not ring the bells during Mass because the community can see the action that is taking place. One place we do ring the bells is during Benediction, the prayer service that takes place after Adoration on Wednesdays evenings at 7pm in the Daily Chapel. When the deacon or priest raises the monstrance for the blessing of the community, the community kneels and the bells are rung.


Q: Hello Father, During this time of Eucharistic Revival, why do we not encourage people of all faiths to join us in the Celebration of the Eucharist? And gently encourage them to see the Catholic reverence for the Sacrament and possibly consider conversion.

A: National Conference of Catholic Bishops (1996) has issued guidelines for receiving holy communion.  In the guidelines, Catholics are reminded of the need to be properly disposed by (1) maintaining a fast for at least one hour before reception of holy communion and (2) being in a state of grace and not being conscious of grave sin.  The guidelines go on to say that “We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us…Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion.”  These guidelines can lead to hurt feelings in our Christian brothers and sisters.  However, as the guidelines suggest, we can pray for them and invite them into full communion with the Church.  So to answer your question, when dealing with Christians of other faiths, conversion of the Catholic faith culminates with the reception of the Eucharist.  It does not begin with it.


Q: Father Andrew, I understand why we stopped receiving the Precious Blood by the cup during the pandemic. When will it come back?

A: The Office of Worship for the Diocese of Trenton just issued new guidelines that will permit the community to receive the Precious Blood by the cup at the discretion of the pastor beginning on Ash Wednesday.  While this is great news, it will take some time to plan out how best to roll this out to the community and to retrain our Eucharistic Ministers once the plan is in place. Be on the lookout for more information soon!


Q: Father Andrew, in the Gospel of John 2: 1-11 at the wedding in Cana, Mary said to Jesus, “They have no wine.”  Jesus said to her “Woman, how does your concern affect me?”  How did she know his ability to perform this miracle?

A: We cannot know for sure what Mary knows about her Son.  But we do know that she believes that He can do something about the shortage of wine.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “the Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith” (CCC 2618).  Just as Mary prays and intercedes for this couple to avoid shame on their wedding day, Mary prays and intercedes for us.


Q: How does the Eucharist make us God’s people?

A: As individuals, we are brought into union with Christ through our participation in the Paschal Mystery and our share in the consecrated bread and wine. As the Church, God’s people are brought forth through its celebration of the Eucharist. We are a people made one with Christ and one with each other in the Eucharist. It is for this reason that the Catechism teaches “the Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being” (CCC 1325). The Eucharist is then both the sign and the cause of this unity.


Q: I have heard that the Church does not allow us to dip the Host into a chalice so that we can receive the Eucharist under both forms. But when I watched part of World Youth Day, I saw many clergy, including bishops and cardinals, doing this. What are the rules of the Church on this practice?

A: Last week, I explained that the dipping action is called intinction. Check out my answer from last week on why the clergy received by intinction at the World Youth Day. This week, I’d like to explore why the lay faithful are not permitted to receive by intinction. First, lay faithful are not permitted to self-communicate by dipping the Host that they will consume into the precious Blood. When we “self-communicate” we are giving ourselves the Eucharist. As lay faithful, we must be in a posture of reception when we receive the Eucharist. This is also why we do not take the Host out of the ciborium (the bowl that holds the Hosts) ourselves; it must be given to us. So then why can’t the Eucharistic Ministers, priests or deacons dip the Host into the consecrated wine and offer it to us? The practice is not permitted here in the Diocese of Trenton and the reason goes back to scripture. In St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:25), we hear an early form of the Eucharistic liturgy. It says, “ In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’” Notice that Jesus does not say, “dip” but “drink.” The Diocese of Trenton stopped the practice of intinction because as a liturgical action, dipping does not match the words that Jesus says. In addition, when intinction was practiced before Vatican II, it was a complicated and messy process. A cloth needed to be put under the chin of the person receiving by intinction so that no drop of Precious Blood would be lost.  Then the Host was put directly into the mouth of the person receiving Communion. This would not be a helpful way to distribute communion during a pandemic. If this is all so, why can’t the lay faithful receive the Precious Blood by intinction but the clergy can? The clergy celebrating or concelebrating the must receive the Eucharist under the form of both Bread and Wine to complete the sacrifice of the Mass. This liturgical action is not required by the lay faithful. However the lay faithful can rest in the fact that, in the Host, the lay faithful receive all of Jesus:  Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.


Q: I have heard that the Church does not allow us to dip the Host into a chalice so that we can receive the Eucharist under both forms. But when I watched part of World Youth Day, I saw many clergy, including bishops and cardinals, doing this. What are the rules of the Church on this practice?

A: There are two questions here. What is the dipping action? And what are the rules for the laity on this? In my answer this week, we will talk about the dipping action. Next week, we will tackle the rules for the laity on this practice. The dipping of the Host into the consecrated wine is called “intinction.” This is an approved way to receive the blood of Christ as stated in the current edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal: “The blood of the Lord may be received either by drinking from the chalice directly or by intinction” (245). As the question states, the clergy at World Youth Day received the Blood of Christ by intinction. Why? In order for the sacrifice of the Mass to be completed, the priest and/or concelebrants must consume  the Bread and Wine. Intinction is a way to do this without passing the cup around to all the clergy. The question then becomes, since we cannot receive the Blood of Christ from the cup because of the pandemic, why can’t the lay faithful receive by intinction as well? Join me next week as I explore this question.


Q: How can I prepare myself to receive the Eucharist?

A: A great way to prepare to receive the Eucharist is to come to Mass early. This allows you to prepare yourself quietly for the experience of the readings and the prayers of the Mass and the reception of our Lord in communion. Although it is small practice that each of us can adopt, it has the power to strengthen our faith and help us appreciate more deeply the mystery we are invited to enter as we approach the presence of God with us in the Eucharist. Those few minutes of quiet preparation have the spiritual effect of making our heart “an avenue for the Lord.” All it takes is a little time to recollect our thoughts, recall what we are doing and thank God for the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.


Q: When And Why Was The Eucharist Instituted?

A: With great clarity, the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy teaches: “At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood. He did this to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the centuries until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is received, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future life is given to us” (SC 47).   SC: the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy – source

www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html


Q:  What is meant By Transubstantiation?

A:  During the Last Supper, Jesus “took bread, said the blessing, broke it and giving it to his disciples said, “’Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it , all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’” The bread was not as a symbol of His Body. The wine was not as a symbol of His Blood. Therefore during the prayers of consecration said during Mass, the whole substance of the bread truly becomes the substance of the Body of Christ and the whole substance of the wine truly becomes the substance of the Blood of Christ. This change is called transubstantiation. 


Q:  In the Creed, we say that Jesus is consubstantial with the Father. What does that mean?

A:  Jesus Christ is not simply one with God; He is of the same existence, the same essence as God. Jesus is God.


Q: Can we have the wine in little cups like they do in protestant churches.

A: Because of the pandemic, we have not been permitted by the diocese to distribute the Precious Blood to the community. We long to receive Jesus…not just His Body but also His Blood. This leads us to wonder whether or not we can receive the Precious Blood in individual serving size cups like they do in other denominations. We cannot do this for many reasons. The vessels that hold the wine that will be consecrated are blessed and set apart from other cups. Also, the material of the vessels that will hold the wine matters because they will hold the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior. That is why our vessels are not only beautiful but crafted from the finest crystal, silver and gold that we can afford as a parish. Finally and most importantly, we could not control what happens to serving size plastic cups after the wine is consumed. The smallest drop of Precious Blood left the bottom of a cup could save the world. This is why our deacons and Eucharistic Ministers lovingly and carefully purify the cups used during Mass to make sure that there is no trace of Precious Blood left. This is also why there is a dedicated sink in our Sacristy that drains directly into the ground. We would never want the Precious Blood of Jesus to be mixed in with everything else that goes down a drain


Q: Why doesn’t the Catholic Church better publicize Eucharistic miracles that conclusively prove that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?

A: Eucharistic miracles are extraordinary events, where the Eucharist no longer appears under the form of bread and wine but takes on the biological qualities of human flesh or blood or both. They are scientifically verified but cannot be scientifically explained. So why doesn’t the Church publicize these events? Well, our faith is not founded on Eucharistic miracles, but on the proclamation of the Lord Jesus. For Catholics, while we must recognize God can and does do extraordinary things, there is no obligation to believe in Eucharistic miracles. In fact, Eucharistic miracles can unintentionally shake the foundation of faith for some people by leading them to believe that the Eucharistic miracle is more important that the everyday lived experience of Mass. The Eucharist is the true, great inexhaustible daily miracle. To see a list of Eucharistic miracles go to miracolieucaristici.org.


Q: How long is Jesus present after the Host is consumed during communion?

A: The Host (the Eucharistic species of bread) remains for about 15 minutes after reception during communion. This is based on the biology of the digestive system. It also reflects the Catechism’s statement that the presence of Christ “endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1377). This is why many saints have recommended offering 15 minutes of prayer after receiving the Eucharist as a thanksgiving to God. This quiet time allows the soul to savor the presence of God and have a true “heart-to-heart” with Jesus who is more than just with us but who is truly within us.

Here is a nice article: aleteia.org/2017/05/17/how-long-is-jesus-present-in-the-eucharist-after-weve-received-communion/


Q: What are the fruits of Eucharistic Adoration?

A: People who practice/engage in Eucharistic Adoration experience a deeper devotion to Jesus, and this manifests itself in countless ways. The primary fruits are repentance and conversion which lead to increased charity – in other words, we love God, so we come to love His people more too. The Adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist also leads to greater reverence at Mass, a deeper desire for personal holiness, and a stronger sense of union with the parish and the whole Church. A great link to look at titled, 10 Surprising Things That Happen When You Go To Adoration, is available to read on the adoration link on our webpage : holyeucharist.org/adoration


Q: What should I do during Eucharistic Adoration?

A: There is no right or wrong way to pray and worship in Eucharistic Adoration; there are many ways to do this. The main purpose of Adoration is realizing who is present – the Body of Christ. We may meditate silently by gazing on the sacred Host. We may silently speak to Jesus from our mind and heart. We may also rely on devotions and prayers from Catholic tradition, such as the reading of Scripture, silent recitation of the rosary, or the litanies. For the how-to of Adoration at Holy Eucharist you may check out our website: holyeucharist.org/adoration


Q: What is proper etiquette during Eucharistic adoration?

A: Whenever we enter or leave, and whenever we pass before the place where the sacred Host is reserved, we should genuflect (bend on one knee) or bow deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord, to show the reverence due the King of Kings, our Lord and Savior. We should avoid any actions that might disturb or distract others or draw attention to ourselves rather than Jesus. For the how-to of Adoration at Holy Eucharist you may check out our website: holyeucharist.org/adoration


Q: Why is the Host put into a metal vessel for Adoration?

A: The metal vessel that the Host is placed into is called a monstrance. There are three purposes to for this practice that we call Eucharistic exposition: 

1. To acknowledge Christ’s marvelous presence in the sacrament.

2. To lead us to a fuller participation in the celebration of the Eucharist, culminating in Holy Communion.

3. To foster the worship which is due to Christ in spirit and in truth.


Q: I have not been to confession for several years and I have not taken communion because of it. Has the church changed its rules about communion?

A: The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance” (CCC, 1415). A sin is mortal when (1) the thought, word, deed, or omission concerns something serious; (2) we think about what we were doing when we commit the sin; and (3) we consent completely to it. If you are unsure whether or not you are in a state of grace, it is a good idea to visit the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

If it has been a long time since you have been to confession, now is a great time to go! Here at Holy Eucharist, I am available to hear confession on Saturdays between 3:30 and 4:30pm or by appointment. If you don’t remember the Act of Contrition prayer or the formula for receiving Reconciliation, no worries. I can guide you through the process and I even have a card with the Act of Contrition, if you need it. Just come. As Father Mike Schmitz says, “Confession is a place of victory.” https://youtu.be/YiVjwlUO9Sc


Q: How long is Jesus present in the sacrament of the Eucharist?

A: Jesus is present in the sacrament permanently. His presence is abiding, not something that vanishes at the conclusion of Mass. The consecrated Hosts remaining after Communion are kept in a special place of honor called the tabernacle.

*Source: [Catechism of the Catholic church 1377, 1379]


Q: What do I do if I have a gluten sensitivity? 

A: The most recent document in the Catholic Church about how to handle gluten sensitivities teaches that the bread must contain some gluten in order to be valid to use during Mass. There are two options for how to handle a gluten sensitivity. For the first option, a low gluten bread can be used for those who have a gluten intolerance. For the second option, if you have a severe gluten allergy, you can receive just the cup during the reception of Eucharist. The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ are received fully in the Bread and fully in the Wine, in each species of the Eucharist. Unfortunately, at this time, due to the pandemic, we are not able to offer the cup to the community.

Here at Holy Eucharist, we make every effort to enable each person to receive the Eucharist. If you need special accommodations, please see a sacristan at least 20 minutes before Mass. The sacristan can be found near the Eucharistic Minister signup sheets located outside the Sacristy in the hallway leading to the Daily Chapel. If the sacristan is not there, you can let a Host Minister or Welcome Center Minister know that you need to speak with a sacristan. They will find the sacristan for you. If you are comfortable with receiving a low gluten bread, you will be given a pyx (a small round box) and the package with the bread in it. To avoid contamination, you will open the package and put the low gluten bread into the pyx yourself. Then this pyx will be put into Father Andrew’s ciborium (the low bowl that contains the bread to be consecrated). To receive Communion, you will stand in Father Andrew’s line. When you come up to Father Andrew, you will let Father Andrew know that the pyx is yours and he will hand it to you. You will then open the pyx and consume the consecrated Host. 

For more information about how the Catholic Church handles gluten sensitivities and the Mass check out this link: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/celiac-disease-and-alcohol-intolerance


Q: Why are we having a Eucharistic Revival?

A: Because the Church needs healing, and the world needs the Church. Scandal, division, disease, doubt. The Church has withstood each of these throughout history. But today we confront all of them, all at once. Our response in this moment is pivotal. In the midst of these roaring waves, Jesus is present, reminding us that he is more powerful than the storm. He desires to heal, renew, and unify the Church and the world. How will he do it? By uniting us once again around the source and summit of our faith—the Holy Eucharist.

*source: https://www.eucharisticrevival.org


Q: What does the word “Eucharist” mean?

A: The term “Eucharist” originates from the Greek word eucharistia, meaning thanksgiving. “And when he had given thanks (Greek: eucharistésas or “eucharisted”), he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me’” (1 Cor 11:24).

*source: https://www.usccb.org/eucharist


Q: Is the Eucharist a symbol?

A: No! The transformed bread and wine are truly the Body and Blood of Christ and are not merely symbols. When Christ said “This is my body” and “This is my blood,” He meant it. During Mass, the bread and wine are transubstantiated. What does “transubstantiation” mean? Although the bread and wine appear the same to our human faculties, they are actually the real Body and Blood of Christ.

*source: https://www.usccb.org/eucharist


Q:  What did St. Teresa of Calcutta have to say about the Eucharist?

A: “Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that Adoration.”— St. Teresa of Calcutta

“Known for her heroic works of charity among “the poorest of the poor,” Mother Teresa often remarked that she and her sisters could not carry out their mission without daily, regular Eucharistic adoration.”

*source: Our Sunday Visitor - 11 men and women of the Eucharist