Hospitable Table

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Resource for Welcoming Those with Celiac Sprue Disease

Over the last 25 years, the Roman Catholic Church has addressed the concern of welcoming persons with Celiac Sprue disease to Communion.  Still, much confusion abounds because few know what Celiac Sprue disease is or how the church is addressing this disease.

What is Celiac Sprue?

Persons with Celiac Sprue disease are unable to properly digest gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is not found in rice, corn or millet. Celiac Sprue is a genetic autoimmune disease. If a person receives a bit of gluten, it will affect the individual’s health. Most persons with Celiac Sprue must adopt a gluten-free diet to remain healthy.

How do I arrange for a low-gluten host for reception during Communion?

At St. Genevieve's we ask those who have Celiac Sprue disease to see the Sacristan before Mass in the Sacristy to arrange for a low-gluten host for their reception during Communion.  The low-gluten host will be placed by you into a clear pyx and then placed on the altar where it will be consecrated with all the altar breads. It would be helpful if persons with Celiac Sprue sit close to the front of the worship space in the center right section of the altar table. You will then go to the receiving line where the presider distributes.  When it is your turn to receive you will simply indicate that you are to receive the low-gluten host.  The presider will give you the container with your consecrated host.   Take out the host and immediately return the clear pyx immediately to the presider