What should I do about those who don't receive Communion?

There’s a couple who sit behind us every week at Mass. We know them by sight because their son is in my son’s class. They are very involved with the parish school and their sons are altar boys.

Every Sunday, their children go up to receive Communion but they do not. I’m heartbroken to think that they may be deprived unnecessarily of the Eucharist. Perhaps they have some problem that could be solved, such as an irregular marriage that could be regularized, or perhaps it’s a misunderstanding of some kind.

Our parish is very small, so I think it’s unlikely that the pastor hasn’t noticed that they refrain from Communion (they always sit in the second row). Should I assume that the problem has been addressed? Or should I mention it to the pastor? Or should I mention it to them? Thanks.

I hesitate to say that whether or not this couple receives Communion is “none of your business” because Catholics should care about whether or not their fellow Catholics are being spiritually fed through the sacraments. We might even quote St. James the Less, who said of physical hunger:

If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? (James 2:15-16).

What I will say though is that it is an issue that calls for a highly-developed sense of tact and discretion. Since this is a small parish, I recommend making an appointment with the pastor and explaining to him your concern for this couple. He will not, of course, be able to share with you any reasons for their refraining from Communion of which he is aware; but hopefully he will appreciate your concern on their behalf. And, if he has not noticed that they have not been receiving Communion, you will be bringing to him a potential pastoral concern needing his attention.

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