When I arrived here at St. Catherine’s, there were a few Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion taking Holy Communion to the shut-ins, (one, who use to help, was almost ordained a priest and is an instituted Acolyte). Then, when I was asked by these people to give them the Holy Host, it would bother me a lot, because I believe that only the priest should touch the Holy Host, (Only priests have consecrated hands to touch the Holy of Holies.
Now, since I am just an assistant here at this parish, and not the pastor, I decided that instead of giving the Holy Communion to the lay ministers, I would go with them to visit all the shut-ins to give them Communion. Since then, there are no longer any lay ministers giving out Holy Communion to the sick or at the Holy Mass here in our parish. We do have a deacon helping distribute Communion at Mass.
Personally visiting the sick has worked out very well, because most of the people the ministers were visiting to bring Communion to, had not been to confession for a long time. As busy as we priests are, it is worth the time to visit, confess and bring Holy Communion to the sick and shut-ins.
Sometimes, the people that are so called shut-ins, go out frequently to other events but will not go to Holy Mass, or they may be living in sin or are no longer conscious enough to know that they are receiving God. A priest needs to determine who can receive Jesus.
On the first Sunday of the month, after all the Masses, I go and visit 2 convalescent hospitals, one care home and many individual homes. Usually 3 women come with me to visit the people as well. (These women belong to the Legion of Mary and visit and pray with the sick every Sunday without giving Holy Communion). God bless these women.
This last Sunday, three of my godchildren went with us too. I went in my surplus and stole. The two boys, dressed in cassock and surplus, helped me by ringing a bell and carrying a paten. I was afraid the people in the Convalescent hospital would look upon us in a strange way.
It is very tiring to go personally and bring Holy Communion, especially after all the morning masses and other duties a priest has. But, if we believe that the Host really is Jesus/God, then we need to make the sacrifices to protect Him, visit the sick and hear their confessions.
Even though many of the Catholics who run the Church now hate traditional Catholicism, many Catholics still love traditional altar boys and the other Catholic traditions. We are so blessed to be able to serve God in a holy and dignified way.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.