Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Monday, March 05, 2007


As in receiving communion during mass at our church. Mike and I up until a few weeks ago have still been receiving communion at our church. We are devout Catholics and felt it important to still take communion even though it contains gluten. Mike hadn't noticed any real difference, (although I swear he acted differently when he went without), but I most definitely did. Within that day and over the next few days I began to feel the effects. Crampy, gassy and bloating...that's just to name a few without going into disgusting details. I hadn't noticed these issues while I was pregnant. But it certainly could have been there but showing itself in the hive issues I was having.

I had asked Mike to get a hold of our priest to discuss what we should do because I would just go up, and as discreetly as possible make a bee line for the wine, avoiding the host. Not really the Catholic thing to do. I felt guilty, and empty not being able to receive. As Father Marc later said when we spoke with him, "The Body of Christ shouldn't make anyone sick!"

Come to find out, Father Marc was already in the process of ordering these special low-gluten hosts for the parish. There are two other people who have requested them as well. He referred us to this website: http://benedictinesisters.org/english/site.php to see what it was he was offering us.

According to the information:

"The Celiac community’s response to us... Since we began selling these breads we have served over 2000 celiac sufferers. We have had only positive feedback from those who have tried them. Our low gluten altar breads were featured in an article in the magazine Gluten-Free Living. The editorial and accompanying write-up cited data from the Center for Celiac Research that showed that the 0.01% gluten content of our breads would be perfectly safe for most celiacs. The article states

The measurement cited here, 0.01%, represents 10 PPMs (parts per million). But the more important number is 37 micrograms, because it is daily exposure to gluten that counts. The best current information shows that 10 milligrams a day should be safe.
Ten milligrams is the same as 10,000 micrograms. If you divide 37 micrograms into 10,000 micrograms, you will find that you would have to eat 270 wafers every day to reach the danger point. At most, celiacs would consume one wafer per day or about 0.04% (four tenths of one percent) of the amount considered dangerous."

The one downside, at least from Mike's point of view, is how we have to go and receive this special host. Because of cross contamination possibilities, our hosts are placed in a separate pyx so they can be consecrated during mass when the rest of the hosts are. However, because they use their hands to give them out, we would have to be the first ones to go up and receive. That's right. As soon as the priest comes down from behind the altar, we have to walk right up to him and receive our hosts before the rest of the parish goes up. This means we need to sit closer to the front of the church...with three children...who don't sit still...who don't stay quiet...and who most times gather many looks from the other people who are trying to LISTEN to the mass. Oooopppssss! :)

So, we will see if we have a reaction. It didn't taste bad, in fact it reminded me of a Cape Cod chip without the salt. We just don't know how sensitive we are. Ethan is still a few years away from receiving his First Holy Communion, so we'll see what will be available to him then. For now it's a step in the right direction. It's nice to see the Catholic community doing what it can for those of us with this disease, so that we may be able to participate in the most sacred part of our mass.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your family's journey. I haven't read any more than this one post, but I felt I should comment... There is still danger of cross-contamination even if you are first in line, because the priest has had to touch the regular hosts during the consecration. What my parish priests has done is to elevate the pyx, say "The Body of Christ", and then turn the pyx over, delivering the host directly from the pyx into my hand without ever touching it. As a result, I am able to be last in line (and sit in the back with my small children, if necessary) for the Precious Body. Being last in line does raise the risk of contamination from the chalice, however, doing it this way.

Anyway, food for thought... Hope this helps!