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MeganTX

Depressed gluten-free Catholic

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Hi, I am new here and I was diagnosed about a year ago with NCGS.  I am sensitive enough that I need my own toaster, my own jar of peanut butter, etc but I can drink the "de-glutened" beers that seem to bother some.  I have accepted that I can never again eat anything or anywhere new without scouring labels and Googling everything but there is one thing that still bothers me - I am Catholic.  The core of the Catholic Mass is Communion, which I can no longer have because it is made of unleavened wheat.  I get stressed every time I go up for Communion and cross my arms to get a gluten-free blessing because this is what is supposed to bring us together and I feel left out.  I read that there are some awesome nuns sonwhere that created a low-gluten host but I am wondering: (1) Has anyone tried this?, (2) How do you ensure that you get that and with no cross-containation?  I was thinking I might became an EMOHC and just always serve in that capacity so that I can ensure I get the right host untainted by the wheat versions.  I would love any and all advice.

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Welcome to the community here.

I am not Catholic, but have been a member here for many years, and a moderator for ten. This topic comes up from time to time.

I am Episcopalian, similar in most beliefs. Talk to your priest. In my church, receiving one form of communion is sufficient to meet the obligation, so I usually just take the cup. I arrange with the priest to be first in line, lest the cup be contaminated from another communicant.

For the wafer to qualify in the Roman Catholic Church, it must be made from wheat. There are some sources of low-gluten wafers, but I have no personal experience with them. The Episcopalian (Anglican) church allows a wafer that does not contain wheat.

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I am Catholic and I totally understand. At my home parish, there is a layman who has celiac.  He has arranged to have these hosts ordered from the Benedictine sisters of Perpetual adoration.

http://www.benedictinesisters.org/

At the beginning  mass, anyone who needs a gluten-free hose can take it from the main receptacle and place it in a special pix.  The priest has them and they are consecrated and with the priest.    He is handling the gluten and the gluten-free host back and forth.  But, I talked to this fellow and he said that he has not had any symptoms of cross-contamination and he is fairly sensitive.   I am celiac but really don't get any obvious symptoms so I can't tell you if cross-contamination is an issue or not   I also partake in the wine,  but I try to sit in the first or second row( to be the first to drink the wine)  to limit cross-contamination.  I make sure to be aware if the priest Saying mass puts a small piece of bread in each chalice (then I do not partake.)

psawyer is right though.  Consuming either form of  eucharist is adequate and acceptable.   Often times I just take the wine. 

 I have considered becoming a Eucharistic minister.  This would completely eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. If you were the first person to drink from the chalice, there would be no chance of cross-contamination at all.

 Traveling is tough.   I often times abstain when I am traveling  but many parishes now offer gluten-free hosts  so I'm sure you could research it  and contact the parish ahead of time. One of my best friends has Ncgs  and he can take the gluten-free host with no trouble. 

 I know a priest whose nephew is celiac in central Texas. . I haven't talk to him personally about the situation (just his SIL) but I'm sure  he would be happy to talk about it if needed.  I don't know what part of Texas you're in  but let me know.

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I am Catholic and my daughter, who is NCGS, DOES have problems with the low gluten host (it's either the host or the way it is handled. There is no way to really know).  Her symptoms are primarily neurological.  I provided the following link to our priest with details about her reaction (she cannot walk, has balance issues, numbness of arms and legs).

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/celiac-disease-and-alcohol-intolerance.cfm

His solution was to order her a separate small chalice that is consecrated with everything else but is off to the side on the alter to prevent cc.  Then my husband, who is a Eucharistic minister administers the cup to her. 

I am currently recovering from my own gluten challenge (I am also NCGS) and am staying away from all gluten even processed gluten-free under 20ppm foods because I want to heal, so I have not tried the low gluten host and also receive from the chalice with my daughter.

When we travel we abstain from receiving and pray for a spiritual communion.  

Talk to your priest. Send him the link above, which is from the USCCB.  There is a pastoral solution.  

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While not catholic (I am Methodist) I do take communion. I have arranged with my pastor to bring my own loaf and get it blessed once a month or so. I then keep it in the freezer at home and bring it to communion or take it in my house. This has worked out great for the last 3 years, and enabled me to participate in it without issues.

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Megan-

 I am not Catholic but I owe my gluten awareness to whoever was the Pope in 2004. There was a BIG piece in the national nooze media about some Roman Catholic girl in NJ who had celiac. Her parents were told by her priest and bishop that she should take the communion wafer anyway, and the parents appealed for Papal Dispensation not to take it because of the allergy.

The Pope responded, and said the wafer transmogrifies and becomes the body of Christ, so there is no wheat once she take communion. That's a foundation of the Church and no, she can't get dispensation from that. (Episcopalians apparently have a rice cracker as an alternative.)

I happened to hear that news on a weekend when all I had had was Melba toast and I said to myself "DING! WHEAT! CELIAC!" and if the Pope hadn't been such an inflexible man...it wouldn't have been nooze and I wouldn't have made the connection.

I understand the current Pope is much more reasonable, and would urge you to literally apply for Papal Dispensation. He's the only one who can grant it to you.

Otherwise, if you are following a religion that insists you commit regular medical harm to your own body, you may have to rethink exactly which organized religion does or doesn't work with your choice of Gods.

Take it to the top man. I think this one will be clever enough to find a solution for you.

 

Lyfan

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On 6/27/2017 at 8:05 PM, lyfan said:

Megan-

 I am not Catholic but I owe my gluten awareness to whoever was the Pope in 2004. There was a BIG piece in the national nooze media about some Roman Catholic girl in NJ who had celiac. Her parents were told by her priest and bishop that she should take the communion wafer anyway, and the parents appealed for Papal Dispensation not to take it because of the allergy.

The Pope responded, and said the wafer transmogrifies and becomes the body of Christ, so there is no wheat once she take communion. That's a foundation of the Church and no, she can't get dispensation from that. (Episcopalians apparently have a rice cracker as an alternative.)

I happened to hear that news on a weekend when all I had had was Melba toast and I said to myself "DING! WHEAT! CELIAC!" and if the Pope hadn't been such an inflexible man...it wouldn't have been nooze and I wouldn't have made the connection.

I understand the current Pope is much more reasonable, and would urge you to literally apply for Papal Dispensation. He's the only one who can grant it to you.

Otherwise, if you are following a religion that insists you commit regular medical harm to your own body, you may have to rethink exactly which organized religion does or doesn't work with your choice of Gods.

Take it to the top man. I think this one will be clever enough to find a solution for you.

 

Lyfan

Hi Lyfan-

I think you may have misunderstood what happened in 2004.  At the time when Haley's mother, Elizabeth Pelly-Waldman, asked the Church for a dispensation she refused the two reasonable options they did provide her with: 1. to take a low gluten host (which is below 20ppm) or 2. partake of the wine only. What she asked for was her daughter to be able to take of a completely rice or soy based host, breaking with 2000 years of tradition.  She was not told that she should take the gluten host and harm herself. 

I would encourage you to read a little bit about John Paul II. He was one of the most amazing, compassionate men that has lived in recent times.  While very different from Pope Francis, he is no less holy of a man.  Witness to Hope would be a great start....

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