"Mom! Where's my pyx?"
"In the freezer? Next to your wafers?"
"Can't find it! There it is! It's under the frozen lemons!"
For five years this is the Sunday ritual. Sometimes under the bag of low-gluten wafers sent from the Benedictine sisters, sometimes next to the chunk of ginger that rotates through the freezer compartments. No matter how many times we swear that we will reload the pyx with a wafer, put the loaded pyx in the top rack of the freezer door, we always scramble Sunday morning to get the wafer into the pyx, into the pocket, out the door, and into the hands of the altar servers before mass.
Ever since our son Nate's First Eucharist, five years after we discovered he was celiac, we have held this ritual of supplying the low-gluten wafer for mass. At one time these wafers were kept at the church, with the hopes that the elderly parishioner with celiac would enjoy the option of receiving the host. After a year, she admitted that she had gone too long only receiving the Blood of Christ and was not missing receiving the Body. Then, the priest came through and decided the freezer was an energy waster and asked us to supply our wafers from home. We were the only family needing a low-gluten wafer.
There was a stage about the age of nine that lasted nearly a year. Nate was angry when we forgot the wafer, when he lost his pyx in a coat pocket for a couple weeks, or when we visited a church that was awkward with permitting this special arrangement. I wish that I had a copy of the original pronouncement of the American Catholic acceptance of the low-gluten wafers. At that time it was Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, that declared the approval of using these specially made wafers in mass.
Much has happened through the years since we baptized Nate, discovered his being celiac, his First Eucharist, and most recently his confirmation. My first support was an old, now non-existent, website for Celiac Catholic Kids. I opted to reorder the title of this blog, as being Catholic is far more significant of an identity than being celiac or a child; being celiac will never change for Nate, but growing up from childhood will.
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