Are there any lay apostolates dedicated to bearing Christ in the Eucharist to the homebound and others unable to attend Mass?
I’m not sure about exactly what you said, but there is a lay apostolate called the Knights of the Holy Eucharist that may be similar.
Oh, sorry about that. I was wondering if there are any organized societies or clubs in the form of lay apostolates dedicated to that. I’m actually a little unclear about the meaning of 'apostolate. To me, it means a group dedicated to a particular mission, and it is sanctioned by a church. Does that sound right to you?
Thank you for the tip about the Knights of the Holy Eucharist. That gives me a name to research.
I’ve had an idea for quite some time about forming a society of travellers dedicated to good works, and it occurred to me this morning that bearing Christ in the Eucharist to people unable to attend Mass would be a good thing to do. I was inspired today by St. Christopher, when I inlaid one of his medals into my walking stick.
Many people in my parish are extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist and bring the Eucharist to the homebound and in hospitals.
I didn’t know that there was a lay apostolate that is dedicated to that.
Clergy are the only ordinary ministers of the Eucharist. They are permitted to “deputize” extraordinary ministers to help distribute Holy Communion during mass and to the infirmed, but I doubt that there is a purely lay group authorized to do this on an ongoing basis.
That goes to another question I have: is it even possible for a group to organize itself, and approach local churches with this idea, much like some groups have organized for perpetual Adoration?
I would think it’s possible, and this is what I want to do.
It might help you to get your thoughts in order to read the document from Vatican II titled:
Decree on the Apostolate of Laity:
This is exactly the kind of advice I’m looking for. Thank you for the link. I’m going to read it right now. Thanks again!
I am unsure what you hope for this group to accomplish that EMHC’s don’t already perform. The laity cannot simply distribute communion outside of mass without permission, and are generally only given permission to distribute to those who have requested home distribution. More so, the laity are only permitted to carry the needed number of consecrated hosts for as short a time as possible (such as filling the pynx just before visiting the nursing home).
As for approaching parishes, I’m sure many are in need of volunteers to help coordinate and provide home distribution. It is a legitimate need. Possibly, you could organize a pool of volunteers among several parishes to serve a geographic area. However, I’m not certain this could be done as an autonomous lay apostolate outside the regular ministry of the Parishes.
You may have read my earlier posting where I said it was St. Christopher who inspired me. Leaving aside his very spotty presence in history, you may recall that his name means, ‘Christ bearer’. Legend has it that he was asked to transport a child across a raging river. Being an uncommonly strong man, he was surprised the child was so heavy. Upon reaching his destination on the far side of the river, it was revealed to him that he had been bearing the Christ Child on the journey. The child was so heavy, due to Christ bearing the sins of the world. Thus he became known as Christopher in Greek, which means Christ bearer.
When he found out it was Christ he had born across the river, he planted his walking staff in the ground, and it became a flowering tree.
I have had a vision in mind for a while, of a company of people united together for the purpose of performing good works of charity. Part of this vision is the idea that we all are wandering and wayfaring travellers in this world, whose abode is heaven. Our stay here is only temporary, and we are awaiting the final call to come home, ending our journey in this world.
But while we are here, we are called to live out our Faith as witnesses to the world, performing good works in faithful service to our Lord, as we are duty bound to do. Keeping in mind the idea of being wayfaring travellers, it’s important that this be part of the witness we provide to the world. I have been thinking that combining the idea of Christian wayfaring with good works as a natural expression of living the Faith.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had this idea for a while, and it just keeps growing. I made a walking stick recently, and last night I inlaid a St. Christopher medal in the shaft. This morning I was contemplating on the life of St. Christopher, and looking at the medal. On his shoulder he carries the Christ child, and in his hand is his walking staff. A traveller bearing Christ!
Next thing I know I’m posting my question here on the forum. It just occurred to me that there ought to be an apostolate (as I understand the word) dedicated to bearing Christ to the world’s homebound and others who are unable to attend Mass. Of course permission would need to be sought from the Church. I would need whatever special training is involved to carry the Holy Eucharist, and I imagine others would as well.
Right now this is only an idea that won’t go away. But I’m a believer in signs. I think this fascination with wayfaring has been given to me for a reason. I can see a group of wayfarers bearing Christ to the world, under the direction of the Church. But I really don’t know what I should do next.
This brand new book on the subject might be good as well. From the description:
The call of lay people to be witnesses of Christ in the ordinary areas of secular life, such as family, work, recreation, politics and government, shows how demanding the apostolate of the lay people is. The book draws from the dynamic teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the riches of the 1987 Synod of Bishops on the Lay Faithful, and the emphasis on the lay apostolate by recent Popes, to present to lay people an attractive and demanding call to witness to Christ in society.
Its so new that there are no reviews as of today, but Cardinal Arinze is usually excellent and Ignatius Press is normally solid.