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Ellen. I am not sure if the priest is keeping the hosts in the freezer but I supplied him with the first shipment of the hosts from the Benedictine sisters and he said he will order from now on. He consecrates two hosts at the first weekend mass (sat @ 4) for my 18 yr. old daughter and a newly diagnosed 9 year old. She simply stops in the sacristy before the mass she attends to let them know she is there. Since my daughter doesn't care for the extra attention she goes up at the same time as the Eucharsitic ministers, waits inside the doorway to the altar in the sacristy and the priest brings her communion after he serves the Eucharistic ministers. This allows her not to have to go through the thing with the ushers and by not going directly on to the altar we don't have to fight over whether her clothes are appropriate for the altar.

KathyB

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Oh my God! (no pun intended) A friend of mine was just telling me about the new, really low gluten hosts, but she didn't know where to get them.

I'm Roman Catholic and CANNOT for the life of me imagine not being able to receive communion. I've been gluten-free for almost 1 1/2 months. I am only slightly above normal, but I also have hypoglycemia and it gets unmanageable with the celiac. I've received communion every Sunday so far. Don't think I've had a problem yet, but I know it's probably only a matter of time before I do. There are 2 other Celiacs in the parish too, so a gluten-free host (or near gluten-free) would be fantastic.

So, the question is....

WHERE DO WE GET THEM?

and, DO THEY REALLY NEED TO BE FROZEN? that might be a problem.

Know what's really ironic? I've been working on starting a eucharistic renewal apostolate in the Church, and now I may not even be able to receive it! :huh:

I'll never know, this side of heaven, why that is!

Godspeed!

donna

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HI

I explained my problem to my pastor

and gave him the web site for the gluten free wafers at St. Patrick store someone posted.

He was going to a religious store and said he would try there first. He brought home something and it wasnt labeled gluten free and said it was made with wheat and water.

SO I called up and I asked if that was in fact the box, they said yes, no mistake was made. I explained to my pastor that I still couldnt take it and he didnt argure with me, He ordered the right ones. To day was the first day I had it, and it doesnt melt in your mouth, like the othero nes do, so when they gave the wine, I almost choked becasue I wasnt ready for it.

I guess I am lucky to havea pastor that will work with me.

sandi

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Hi Donna, The hosts are available through the Altar Bread Dept., Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Clyde MO 64432, 1-800-223-2772. When you call to order ask about the freezer issure. I think it is for long time use and the host is fine if not kept frozen. My daughter just receive at Bacculaurate at 7pm and gave it to the priest that am and it was fine. God Bless. email is altarbreads@benedictinesisters.org

KathyB

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wow, that is so great! Thanks Kathy! I just left a message for my pastor about it and I added the order form to my favorites - just praying he'll say yes!

I didn't receive this Sunday - didn't want to take a chance - and glad I played it safe too, b/c last night I ate a wheat-free (but not gluten-free - oops!) cookie and was quite sick. Good thing I didn't take the host in the morning or I would've stayed home all day.

Thanks again!

donna

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Hi Donna, A letter was recently sent to the priests in the Archdiocese of Phila. instructing them about this host and confirming that it is approved for consecration by the Synod of Bishops. If your pastor gives you a hard time, let me know and I'll see if I could get a copy of the letter.

KathyB

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Great, thanks Kathy. I'll keep you posted. My pastor is really hard to get a hold of and I still haven't heard back from him yet. I'll try again tommorow....

donna

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Hi All,

I realize that this won't help everyone, but since there people who represent a variety of religions here (including Episcopalian) I wanted to let you know that the most recent newpaper/newletter put out by the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota had a big article about completely gluten free communion bread and it included recipes. Awesome! I am very grateful for the article!

Take Care!

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Your story sounds very familiar. It is great that u are going to see an Endocrine specialist. I am also going to one, since I am 29 and worried about bone loss due to malabsorption. Have your specialist check to see if you are also absorbing Vitamin D too (blood test will tell). Where do you live? Do you need a recommendation for a great doctor who is familiar with Celiacs? If so, let me know:)

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I'm glad someone already gave out the info on the Benedictine nuns' very low gluten (can't quite say gluten free) hosts since I haven't read these posts in a while. About the freezer question: the directions that came with my supply specifically mentioned keeping them in the freezer to preserve longevity. I think the reason is they are made without preservatives, and eventually they will probably get moldy, not stale.

The system of keeping them in my own freezer at home and bringing one each week to church (in the pyx) is working out fine. If, for whatever reason, a pastor insists on keeping the supply at the church, you could suggest keeping them in the rectory freezer.

Although these hosts do, in fact, contain 0.01 percent of wheat, they were apparently checked out by a celiac expert (doctor) at the Univ. of Maryland Research Center, if I'm not mistaken, and pronounced safe for use by people with celiac disease. Whether that's a good enough guarantee for everyone is a personal decision. My doctor agrees that an infinitesimal amount of wheat ingested occasionally is not enough to either damage the intestine or to increase risk of cancer; he also pointed out that it is virtually impossible to live one's life completely free of contamination as particles of wheat & other forbidden grains are absolutely everywhere and every person -- with and without celiac -- unknowingly ingests tiny amounts on a regular basis. These occasional exposures, as long as a person is careful with big contamination issues (toaster crumbs, stirring wheat pasta and then rice pasta with the same spoon, etc.) as well as not intentionally eating gluten from time to time, should not harm your body.

I'm sure that some people feel that even the 0.01 percent in the hosts are too much for them to contemplate eating on a regular basis and I understand that. Also, I've read that there are Catholic priests out there who regard the adherence to strict canon law on the wheat-only wafers as patently ridiculous and will break the law to accommodate people with celiac by giving them rice hosts. For myself, I had no interest in attempting to change parishes and the Benedictine hosts were an acceptable solution for me. I wish everyone luck in dealing with yet another of these difficult issues that those of us with celiac disease must figure out.

Ellen

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Thanks Helen. My pastor is still looking into it with the bishop because there are 3 of us with celiac disease who could use these.

I mentioned my concern that there still is SOME gluten in it to someone I know and she suggested that we use a small piece instead of the entire host each time. That would make it even less gluten!

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Hey, I know it's been a while, but just wanted to thank you SOOOO much for the link on the Benedictines who make low-gluten hosts. I'll be receiving my first communion in about 2 months this Sunday. That is a L O N G time for someone who used to go daily! And my pastor wouldn't let me receive from the cup in that time.

THANK YOU!

And for anyone else inquiring (so you don't have to read it all) they can be bought at:

http://www.altarbreads@benedictinesisters..../orderform.html

Bless You!

-donna

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Hi

In my church they also dip the bread into the wine. For about ayear after the diagnosis, I continued taking minute amounts of the Body and Blood of Christ offerred during Liturgy with stomach discomfort resulting a day or two later. I spoke with the priest in charge on a couple of occasions about my condition and celiac disease. He continued giving me the bread and I kept getting sick.

Does anyone know where the OCA (Orthodox Church of America), GOARCH (Greek Orthodox Archidiocese of America), or SCOBA (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) stand on the issue of children of Christ with celiac disease and the fact that even minute amounts of bread (gluten) can induce damage to the inner lining of the small intestine with or WITHOUT symptoms ????

We are members and part of Christ's creation and we need to keep educating others about this disease as there are more and more people being diagnosed with celiac disease.

As someone previously mentioned in order to live a healthy life and be a peace with God and ourselves we must accept our disease and pray for God's guidance in dealing with it.

God Bless you

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I found this post by doing a search for "Orthodox communion Celiac's".

My search actually led me to a couple other sites first so I think I can offer some insight on the position of the Orthodox church from what I read.

My daughter is 2 and when she was about a year old we discovered via a blood test that she is allergic to eggs, wheat and dairy. She's never been officially diagnosed as Celiac's though. I had the tests done because I suspected the egg allergy and they just do a whole panel of the top 12 allergens I guess. I probably shouldn't be that surprised though because my mom is officially Celiac's and actually one of my sisters was as well, except then she was miraculously healed by a Christian healer that prayed over her while she was on a missions trip in college, but that is a whole other story and getting away from the topic at hand.

My husband and I have grown up Protestant and children really don't participate in communion or communion is REALLY informal so a gluten-free substitution would be a non-issue at least in the churches we used to attend (mostly Calvary Chapel types). But recently have been researching the Orthodox church and considering it. We've been to a couple liturgies and had some lengthy discussions with a priest. I brought up my concern about the communion with the priest and he asked if even a small amount would be harmful. I said that I believed it would, because even accidents where there is a minscule amount if wheat exposure have resulted in very awful diapers after the fact. He then said that he could give her just the blood/wine in that case.

Since he seemed so unfamiliar with the issue I decided to look online and see if I could find some answers or further explanations. I have found a range of positions from various parishes.

-Some will set aside wine only for those with Celiac's or a wheat allergy

-Some, especially if there are several people with the issue, will consecrate a special gluten-free loaf and set aside uncontaminated wine for them

-Some say that because they believe it is the actual blood and body that you cannot be harmed and should take the communion in faith. Their reasoning comes from communicable diseases, viruses, etc. also not being transferred to all members of the church or the priest during communion.

-Some do not set aside uncontaminated wine, but when administering communion they only give the recipient wine, but I am sure there are probably some crumbs especially in our parish where the bread is actually submersed in the common cup and communion is administered with a spoon by the priest.

So anyway, basically it doesn't look like there is one solid position on the issue like the Roman Catholics. I think the issue is really just up to you to discuss with you priest. You could do some searching online like I did and show your priest what you find and maybe come to an agreement.

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I attend a Byzantine Catholic (or Unitiate) church, where the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil is prayed every Sunday. There are two other individuals in the parish who do not consume gluten, so Father has a separate chalice, with ONLY the blood in it, that is consecrated along side everything else. When they are in line to receive, Father trades out the "traditional" chalice for the gluten-free one, and is very, very careful to ensure the spoon, which is used to serve the Eucharist, is wiped very thoroughly afterwards. I don't think these people have celiac disease, but have issues with consuming gluten.

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