Visitors, Picture, take-away Eucharist

We had something like twenty visitors never seen before by anyone one in the parish at the 11:00 AM Sunday Mass October 13, 2019. We’re a super tiny church, so they stood out. There were two odd occurrences.

During the homily there was a blindingly bright camera flash – like the gunpowder flashes that were used more than a century ago. Not a flash you can can simply ignore. It stopped everything, including me for a good five seconds, as my eyes were unexpectedly dazzled. I don’t know what that was about (for good or evil) but everyone in church instantly fully turned to see what this disturbance was all about. We will see. I don’t like this on any level, and it also raises concerns these days, and so is also imprudent: a little distraction on this side of church, a security incident on the other side of the church… that kind of thing.

The other incident was in administering Holy Communion. A Lady presented herself in such an odd manner that it was entirely obvious that she had never received Holy Communion before in her life. I asked her if she was Catholic and she said she was. Perhaps she was baptized Catholic, but I have to say that it seemed to me she was a full-on liar, though she was certainly stately in appearance and staid and polite in manner. She reached out one-handedly to snatch away the Blessed Sacrament. I said no, that she would have to receive right then and there. Accompanying her staring for a couple of seconds into my eyes with an entirely wry, sardonic smile, she said that no, she was not at all going to receive and so instead, she simply walked back to her pew without the Blessed Sacrament. It was as if to say that she had failed THIS time, but that might not at all be the case the next time. Sorry, but I was creeped out altogether.

Maybe she just wanted to bring Communion to a dying relative who requested this, but, I mean, she could tell me that then and there or she could then have come to see me right after Mass. That would have been the dignified, polite thing to do, right? In either case I would have said that I myself would go to see that person. Perhaps they need the Last Rites, right? That’s how it’s done. That’s what priests are for.

10 Comments

Filed under Eucharist

10 responses to “Visitors, Picture, take-away Eucharist

  1. Claire Dion

    That is pretty scary. Thanks for sharing. We all need to be aware of this.

  2. That was scary. Thanks for sharing. We all need to be aware of things like this.

  3. Nan

    So odd. Trying to grab the Blessed Sacrament shows she’s not properly disposed to receive.

  4. sanfelipe007

    A deacon Told me about the stranger who, instead of replying “amen” to the words “Body of Christ,” blurted out “thank you.”

  5. James Anderson

    I agree with all three of your assessments of the situation. I can’t think of any practical way to protect against an attack with a blinding light. I think the police use a grenade type of weapon the produces a deafening noise and a blinding light to disorient perpetrators.

    If she was trying to steal the Eucharist she could just watch the first person receiving and copy that, or watch a mass on YouTube.

    If the 20 visitors were terrorists, I wouldn’t think they would use so many people for such a small target.

    None of it makes any sense.

  6. pelerin

    I was a little shaken at Mass this Sunday when after Mass had begun a man in a bright red t-shirt entered and proceeded to walk quickly straight up the central aisle towards the Sanctuary. Remembering the tragic death of Fr Jacques Hamel in Normandy I was relieved when he stopped just in front of the altar in full view of everyone and knelt down making several Signs of the Cross. Nobody moved at all – presumably everybody was as surprised as I was or perhaps he was known at that particular Mass -and he then got up and turned round walked back and slipped into the pew in front of me where he remained for the duration.
    Having met the sister of the assassinated priest this summer when in Lourdes and heard her moving talk on what happened on that terrible day, I find myself being more conscious than ever of safety inside a church. Mass is celebrated Ad Orientem so it is up to the servers and us in the congregation to ensure the Priest’s safety during Mass.
    I was amused at sanfelipe’s comment and have to admit to laughing when I read it. I think we can be certain the stranger while being very polite was not a member of the Church.

  7. Catherine

    I can understand how this whole experience would creep you out. Something is definitely wrong and suspicious.

  8. Joisy Goil

    I am an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and serve about once a month. I know most of the people in the parish at least by sight. And I can tell you that despite our Pastor’s occasional comments on proper behavior when receiving there are still parishioners (Catholics all) who grab the Eucharist from my hand and don’t say anything. Others say ‘thank you’, still others bring their obviously too young kids up and the little guys squeal, “I want a cracker too.” Makes me wish there were instructions before mass every week. I wonder if they would even pay attention.

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