As we set up our Christmas decorations during this second week of Advent, Pope Francis invites Christians all over the world to be conscious of including the nativity scene in our decorations as a sign of our joyful proclamation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. In his Apostolic Letter titled “Admirabile Signum,” Latin term meaning, “Enchanting Image” which he signed last Sunday, the Pope stated, “With this Letter, I wish to encourage the beautiful family tradition of preparing the nativity scene in the days before Christmas, but also the custom of setting it up in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, prisons and town squares. Great imagination and creativity is always shown in employing the most diverse materials to create small masterpieces of beauty. As children, we learn from our parents and grandparents to carry on this joyful tradition, which encapsulates a wealth of popular piety. It is my hope that this custom will never be lost and that, wherever it has fallen into disuse, it can be rediscovered and revived.”
The Eucharistic Bread
This weekend, we begin the change from using the traditional Eucharistic bread to using the regular hosts at all Sunday Masses. The use of the traditional bread will continue at the Saturday Vigil Masses. As I stated two weeks ago, I am again sincerely sorry and apologize to those who feel disappointed by this change. For those of you who may be hearing this for the first time, I encourage you to please read my bulletin letter two weeks ago, when I explained some of the major reasons behind the change. I thank you all for your understanding and for the respectful way we handled the discussions in favor and against the change. As people who believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, we have proven that we can look beyond the physical appearance of the bread to see our Savior who gave his life for us, to unite us as one body in Him.
I thank you again that we are ready to move on with this change and remain focused on Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I would like to clarify two main concerns that were raised during the past week. The first is, “The traditional bread has made St. Benedict Parish uniquely different from all other parishes.” I appeal to everyone not to have fear of losing our identity as a parish community over this change. I understand we are about the only parish in the Diocese that uses the traditional bread, however, I believe our uniqueness comes from the way we worship God and serve one another and not really from the type of bread we use. We are not in competition with other parishes, for we are all one body in Christ.
The second concern is, “The traditional bread stands for the ‘work of human hands’, why are we using hosts made by a machine?” The truth is that the hosts we have always used at our daily Masses, which we are now extending to the Sunday Masses, are made by the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and the Cistercian Monastery. It is s till work of human hands because they are human beings and also one body of Christ with us. The same applies to the altar wine we use, which is not made within our parish community. I invite everyone who has further concerns about the use of regular Eucharistic hosts to give me a call at 480.961.1610, or come and visit me to discuss your concerns.
Thank you and Remain Blessed.
Fr. JamesBACK TO LIST