Extreme Allergies


Looking for some advice on the following problem.

My Nephews (one of them is my godson) are extremely allergic to foods. They can eat a handful of foods and must have a very expensive formula in order to get the proper nutrition for them. This would not be a problem if they weren’t allergic to olives, grapes (only my godson is) and wheat. They are incredibly allergic to these foods (i.e. they go into anaphylactic shock from consuming them). Since they cannot consume these foods, I’m not sure how they’re going to be able to receive any of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and confirmation. How does the church handle these kinds of cases?

From what I’ve read, there must be gluten present in the host (currently the lowest amount allowed is 0.01%) in order for it to be valid matter. Wine may be out of the question for the one that is not allergic to grapes because it would have to be organic wine and I’m not sure if he’s allergic to any of the additives in that.

Then there is the problem of the oils used for the sacraments of confirmation, holy orders and the anointing of the sick. Both of my nephews are allergic to olives. I’m not sure how badly they would react to topical application of the oil (they grow more allergic as they become exposed to something). I also think that some of the oils (if not all) have fragrances in them which they will most likely be allergic to. I’m not as certain about what is required as far as the matter is concerned for these sacraments. Can anyone clarify this?

Also, can the priest use a very minimal amount and still have the sacrament be valid?

I appreciate your time in reading and responding to our dilemma.

God Bless,
Sic Deus Dilexit Mundum


I assume you’ve talked to a doctor so tell your priest. This is an unusual situation but perhaps your priest can advise you further. You may also contact the National Catholic Bioethics Center:


God bless,


Gee great question, I have never really thought of these things.
Thanks for asking, I learnt a lot in researching for you.
I Hope this helps. The address is at the bottom of the page.

God Bless,

Low-gluten use/storage


Because persons with Celiac disease are highly sensitve to wheat, low gluten hosts must be stored, handled, and distributed completely separate from typical wheat hosts.

Have a conversation between priest, parishioner, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to determine particulars of distribution and reception of the Eucharist.


Freezer storage in an airtight container away from wheat products (lasts at least 6 months).

Maintain a pyx exclusively for the use of low gluten hosts.

A consecrated host may be reserved in a pyx in the tabernacle for later use when taken to someone who is ill.


Before handling typical hosts, count out as many low gluten hosts as are needed at a single Eucharistic celebration.

Place hosts in designated pyx and close.

(If pyx belongs to parishioner, or if hosts are provided by parishoner, see that pyx/host is given to sacristan well in advance of Mass to ensure time for preparation.)


Place pyx on corporal separate from ciborium or paten containing typical wheat hosts.

Fraction Rite

See that no wheat particles get into pyx during fraction rite.

Only break the presider host over the chalice for the priest and/or deacon, so that wheat particles do not get in all the

chalices (preventing some from receiving the Precious Blood).


Designate one point of distribution for a chalice which does not contain any particles of wheat.

Determine when the communicant will come for Communion. Options include:

Communicant sits where they can be near the front of the Communion line to receive the Precious Blood before wheat particles from other communicants get into the chalice.

A specific Extraordinary Minister distributes separately to the individual during the regular Communion time.

Parishioner comes first or last to the priest or deacon who retrieves the pyx from the altar and gives the Body of Christ.

Priest, deacon, or Extraordinary Minister opens pyx for the communicant to take Communion. (If pyx belongs to parishioner, it may be taken after the reception of the Sacred Host. If crumbs remain in pyx, wipe with finger and consume.)

Hosts may be ordered by the parish or the parishioner.
If ordered by parishioner, arrange with parish for billing/ shipping (who/where).

Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

31970 State Highway P / Clyde, MO 64432-8100





I suggest you show the information to your Priest and see what He says,
He may have the Hosts already and may know of another way to receive
the Blood as well.



One only needs to receive a small fraction of the host to receive Jesus fully. Some people who are deathly allergic to foods can handle a small amount with a minor reaction (tongue numbness).


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