Holy Eucharist: December 2011 Archives


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A Grave Abuse: Invalid Matter for the Most Holy Eucharist

A local Church Goods store here in Tulsa, Oklahoma is supplying Catholic parishes with gluten free "Communion Wafers" made by Ener-G Foods Inc. Here are the ingredients:

Filtered Water, Sweet Rice Flour, Potato Flour, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Potato Starch, Methylcellulose, Sunflower Lecithin.

One can no more confect the Body of Christ using such "wafers" than one can use cider or orange juice for the confection of the Precious Blood. It is appalling that this product has found its way into the sacristies of Catholic churches across the country. Who is responsible? Or, as my Dad would say, "Who is minding the store?"

Canon Law is explicit:

Can. 924 §1. The most holy Eucharistic sacrifice must be offered with bread and with wine in which a little water must be mixed. §2. The bread must be only wheat and recently made so that there is no danger of spoiling. §3. The wine must be natural from the fruit of the vine and not spoiled.

Catholics with celiac disease, receiving such "wafers" are not receiving the Body of Christ. The consecration of such wafers is invalid, and the use of them is a grave abuse, given that it concerns the matter of the Sacrament.

Hosts Made by the Benedictines of Clyde Missouri

There is another solution. Sister Jane Heschmeyer and Sister Lynn Marie D'Souza, Benedictine nuns of Clyde, Missouri have developed a Communion host that has been approved as valid material for the Most Holy Eucharist by the Holy See.

With a level of gluten content of 0.01% it is safe enough for consumption by almost all celiac suffers, according to Dr. Alessio Fasano of the University of Maryland and other medical experts.

The U.S. Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy judges the Benedictine Sisters' bread "the only true, low-gluten altar bread approved for use at Mass in the United States."

For further information see this article by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.


This morning Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Roman Curia. In the course of the exchange of Christmas greetings, His Holiness spoke of the experience of Eucharistic Adoration at World Youth Day.

Silence Before the Lord
A third element, that has an increasingly natural and central place in World Youth Days and in the spirituality that arises from them, is adoration. I still look back to that unforgettable moment during my visit to the United Kingdom, when tens of thousands of predominantly young people in Hyde Park responded in eloquent silence to the Lord's sacramental presence, in adoration.
Physical Presence of the Risen Christ
The same thing happened again on a smaller scale in Zagreb and then again in Madrid, after the thunderstorm which almost ruined the whole night vigil through the failure of the microphones. God is indeed ever-present. But again, the physical presence of the risen Christ is something different, something new. The risen Lord enters into our midst. And then we can do no other than say, with Saint Thomas: my Lord and my God!
An Act of Faith
Adoration is primarily an act of faith - the act of faith as such. God is not just some possible or impossible hypothesis concerning the origin of all things. He is present. And if he is present, then I bow down before him. Then my intellect and will and heart open up towards him and from him.
Adoration Determines My Life
In the risen Christ, the incarnate God is present, who suffered for us because he loves us. We enter this certainty of God's tangible love for us with love in our own hearts. This is adoration, and this then determines my life. Only thus can I celebrate the Eucharist correctly and receive the body of the Lord rightly.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory