Youth invited to pre-synod meeting

By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis has invited Christian and non-Christian young people from around the world to a meeting in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on youth in 2018.
Before concluding his weekly general audience, the pope said the March 19-24, 2018, pre-synod meeting will be an opportunity for the church to listen to the hopes and concerns of young men and women.
“Through this journey, the church wants to listen to the voices, the sensibilities, the faith as well as the doubts and criticisms of young people. We must listen to young people,” Pope Francis said Oct. 4.
The theme chosen by the pope for the Synod of Bishops, which will be held in October 2018, is: “Young people, faith and vocational discernment.”
The general secretariat of the synod said the initiative “will allow young people to express their expectations and desires as well as their uncertainties and concerns in the complex affairs of today’s world.”
Young people attending the meeting will represent bishops’ conferences, the Eastern Catholic churches, men and women in consecrated life and seminarians preparing for the priesthood, the general secretariat said.
The gathering also will include representatives from other Christian communities and other religions and experts in the fields of education, culture, sports and arts.
“The pre-synod meeting will enrich the consultation phase, which began with the publication of the preparatory document and its questionnaire, along with the launch of an online website containing a specific questionnaire for young people,” the synod office said in a statement.
Conclusions drawn from the meeting, the general secretariat added, will be given to members of the Synod of Bishops “to encourage their reflection and in-depth study.” Young people attending the meeting also will take part in the Palm Sunday Mass at the Vatican March 25, coinciding with local celebrations of World Youth Day.
(Editor’s note: Young people from the Diocese of Jackson are encouraged to take the synod survey:

Silver Rose Pilgrimage

OXFORD – St. John the Evangelist Knights of Columbus Council 10901 participated in the international devotional to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of North America, on September 7th at the Knights of Columbus meeting Room at St. John. At the conclusion of the Devotional, a Silver Rose was carefully packed in its travel box for it’s journey to the next Knights jurisdiction. This year, the Silver Rose was received from the Batesville Council and was carried to the Meridian Council by James Reid, the Coordinator for this year’s devotional.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Silver Rose Pilgrimage has been a tradition for 57 years and was started by a youth group associated with the Knights called the Columbian Squires in 1960. Six Silver Roses travel different corridors in the Western, Central and Eastern portions of North America, with Knights hand-carrying each in specially constructed boxes. Two of the six roses will end their journey at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey, Mexico, on December 12th, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. (Photo by Gene Buglewicz)

Catholic Charities USA gives $2 million for hurricane relief

By Catholic News Service
SAN ANTONIO (CNS) — Catholic Charities USA presented a $2 million check Sept. 4 representing donations received to date for immediate emergency assistance for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and its catastrophic flooding. Parishes in the Diocese of Jackson may take up a special collection for the effort the weekend of Sept. 16-17.
One hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly to immediate and long-term recovery efforts.

Evacuees who were rescued from the floodwaters of Tropical Storm Harvey wait to board school buses bound for Louisiana Aug. 31 in Vidor, Texas. (CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters)

Making the presentation was Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, accompanied by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of the neighboring Diocese of Victoria, J. Antonio Fernandez, president and CEO of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Catholic Charities USA’s Mobile Response Center vehicle, filled with emergency supplies, left Catholic Charities headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, for Texas and will remain there to assist Catholic Charities agencies with response efforts.
Diocesan Catholic Charities agencies have been hard at work in recovery efforts, trying to address difficulties as they arise.
In Houston, which has received the lion’s share of attention, there have been huge problems finding temporary housing. Apartments are flooded and hotels are not accepting payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. On top of that, the city is getting ready to shut down shelters.
In Victoria, relief efforts are just getting started, as Catholic Charities is trying to find a building to convert into a distribution center. Cleaning supplies are still needed to cope with the aftermath of flooding.
While most volunteers want to go to southeast Texas, which suffered significant damage, five counties in the Diocese of Austin were also hit by Harvey. Catholic Charities personnel have gone door-to-door to hotels in Bryan and College Station trying to find displaced people, then connecting them to United Way, as hotels in the area are full due to the college football season. Some businesses are offering paid time off for their employees to go to impacted areas and do volunteer work.
In Corpus Christi, Catholic Charities USA workers are on the ground with people and resources. The biggest challenges they face include trying to find places to store donated supplies and relocating residents with no affordable housing available.
Trucks are a big issue in Beaumont and San Antonio. In Beaumont, six 18-wheelers arrived fully loaded with donations, and up to 100 volunteers stayed until 2 a.m. on Sept. 5 to unload them.
Beaumont’s water supply has remained sketchy since the storm. Water service has not been restored to all areas and those who do have water must boil it first. With flooding still an issue, supply routes change daily and Catholic Charities faces the challenge of getting donations to the right places. They are also setting up food service for volunteers and survivors and looking for vehicles to deliver donations to outlying areas.
(Editor’s note: at press time, the path of Hurricane Irma was unclear. Look for relief efforts in the next edition.)

Pope defends traditional marriage in French book

By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – By virtue of its very definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, Pope Francis said in a new book-length interview.
“We cannot change it. This is the nature of things,” not just in the church, but in human history, he said in a series of interviews with Dominique Wolton, a 70-year-old French sociologist and expert in media and political communication.
Published in French, the 417-page book, “Politique et Societe” (“Politics and Society”) was to be released Sept. 6. Catholic News Service obtained an advance copy, and excerpts appeared online.
When it comes to the true nature of marriage as well as gender, there is “critical confusion at the moment,” the pope said.
When asked about marriage for same-sex couples, the pope said, “Let’s call this ‘civil unions.’ We do not joke around with truth.”
Teaching children that they can choose their gender, he said, also plays a part in fostering such mistakes about the truth or facts of nature.
The pope said he wondered whether these new ideas about gender and marriage were somehow based on a fear of differences, and he encouraged researchers to study the subject.
Pope Francis also said his decision to give all priests permanent permission to grant absolution to those who confess to having procured an abortion was not mean to trivialize this serious and grave sin.
Abortion continues to be “murder of an innocent person. But if there is sin, forgiveness must be facilitated,” he said. So often a woman who never forgets her aborted child “cries for years without having the courage to go see a priest.”
“Do you have any idea the number of people who can finally breathe?” he asked, adding how important it was these women can find the Lord’s forgiveness and never commit this sin again.
Pope Francis said the biggest threat in the world is money. In St. Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus talked about people’s love and loyalty being torn between two things, he didn’t say it was between “your wife or God,” it was choosing between God or money.
“It’s clear. They are two things opposed to each other,” he said.
When asked why people do not listen to this message even though it has been clearly condemned by the church since the time of the Gospels, the pope said it is because some people prefer to speak only about morality.
“There is a great danger for preachers, lecturers, to fall into mediocrity,” which is condemning only those forms of immorality that fall “below the belt,” he said.
“But the other sins that are the most serious: hatred, envy, pride, vanity, killing another, taking away a life … these are really not talked about that much,” he said.
When asked about the church’s “just-war” theory, the pope said the issue should be looked into because “no war is just. The only just thing is peace.”

Eclipse a way to appreciate creation, Vatican astronomer tells audience

By Dennis Sadowski
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (CNS) – A total solar eclipse is a rare event, something to appreciate and enjoy in the mind of Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory.

JACKSON – From left-to-right, Carolyn Callahan, Rebecca Harris, Charlene Bearden, Pam McFarland, Melisa Munoz, and Julia Williams, all members of the chancery staff, gathered on the roof of the chancery to watch the eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, with the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in the background. (Photo by Maureen Smith)

So as the first eclipse crossed the country from coast to coast in 99 years Aug. 21, Brother Consolmagno wasn’t going to do anything but take it in and think about the beauty and mystery of God’s creation.
The astronomer urged an audience in a packed Sts. Peter and Paul Church during a pre-eclipse program in this southwestern Kentucky town near the point of maximum eclipse to take the time to reflect on what the two minutes and 40 seconds of totality means to them.
“Pray for good weather,” he said to laughs. “But also pray for what God wants you to learn from the experience.”
Tens of thousands of people had descended on Hopkinsville, a city of 33,000 an hour northwest of Nashville, Tennessee, by late Aug. 20. Thousands more were expected the morning of the eclipse. Brother Consolmagno said he was as excited as anyone to view the blackening of the sun.
He also said that as a scientist and a person of faith, he is guided by inquisitiveness to explore the heavens and the desire to better understand how God put the universe together. There is no conflict between science the faith, he said.
“Being a scientist can be a way of worshipping God,” he said.
He repeated a similar message to reporters during a news conference before his presentation.
“We’re here not just to remind my fellow scientists who are used to me by now, but also to show religious people how important is it to be able to praise the Creator by studying creation, studying it honestly, finding out how God really created this place. There’s never going to be a shortage of marvels for us to discover or surprises for us to experience,” he said.
“We can come to know the Creator by seeing the things of his creation.”
He said the by understanding the cycle of solar eclipses – occurring about every 18 months and 11 days – people can see the rhythms of the universe and the continuing nature of creation and have an experience “that fills the soul with joy.”
Brother Consolmagno made the trip to Hopkinsville at the invitation of Father Richard Meredith, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Father Meredith told Catholic News Service he contacted the Vatican Observatory soon after he learned a few years ago that the eclipse path would pass over the town.
Parishioners prepared for more than a year, having established a committee to welcome visitors and host Brother Consolmagno.
“Being a parish with a parochial school, we stress the unity of truth,” Father Meredith said. “This (eclipse) is a major opportunity to reflect that, as science and faith work together serving to manifest the Lord.
The eclipse is a wonder and these wonders praise the creator. This could very well be the only planet around the only star whose moon is at the right distance and size to give a total solar eclipse,” the priest said.
He introduced Brother Consolmagno with by reading from Psalm 19: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder’s craft.”
“This isn’t only Catholic,” he told CNS. “This is a tradition inherited from God’s revelation in the Old Testament.”
(Editor’s note: Did you safely watch the eclipse? Send us your photos:

Expatriados salvadoreños marcan los 100 años del Beato Oscar Romero

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Berta Quintanilla, residente de Washington, dijo que su niño siempre había preguntado por el hombre mayor con gafas, cuya foto él veía en casa y a veces en eventos de la iglesia. “Quería saber de él, quién era”, dijo Quintanilla. Debido a la manera violenta en que murió en 1980 – muerto a tiros mientras celebraba misa – era difícil explicar toda la historia del beato Oscar Romero al joven Esaú Cruz, ahora 6, pero poco a poco, Quintanilla, comenzó a enseñarle: Él era un poco como Jesús. “Murió por nosotros”, y “no le gustó la injusticia”, le explicó.
Quintanilla, quien nació en El Salvador, llevó a Esaú el 15 de agosto a su parroquia de Washington, el Santuario del Sagrado Corazón, donde los feligreses compartieron pastel en honor del Beato Romero después de la fiesta de la Misa de la Asunción, que cayó sobre lo que habría sido el 100 aniversario del arzobispo salvadoreño. En todo el país, incluso en Dallas y Los Ángeles, las parroquias recordaban al amado arzobispo.
Cien años después de su nacimiento, el beato Óscar Romero sigue inspirándonos por su humildad y valor, por su amor de los pobres y su testimonio de solidaridad y servicio a los demás, hasta el punto de dar su vida”, dijo el arzobispo José H. Gómez de Los Ángeles, en una homilía del 13 de agosto durante una misa celebrando el nacimiento del arzobispo salvadoreño.
Pero la alabanza, e incluso el reconocimiento de la santidad de Romero por parte de los católicos, fue duramente combatida, dijo María de la Paz Amaya de Majano, de 51 años, que asistió a la reunión de Washington con su esposo, hija y nieto con la imagen del arzobispo. En su nativa El Salvador, una vez fue peligroso tener algo con su imagen, dijo, recordando los ataques de otros católicos. Es por eso que siempre ha sido importante decir la verdad sobre el arzobispo Romero, pero también para hablar de él como una familia, dijo.
Desde muy joven, enseñó a su hija Vilma Majano sobre el arzobispo, para contrarrestar lo que pudiera oír sobre él de otros.
Ahora como una familia que vive en los Estados Unidos, a menudo se encienden velas junto con un retrato del beato Romero colocado en su iglesia parroquial de Washington poco después de su beatificación 2015. Dijo que a menudo pide la intercesión del Beato Romero en asuntos relacionados con la juventud del mundo y para que su país natal pueda superar la violencia.
También está enseñando a sus nietos sobre su vida, cómo Romero siguió el ejemplo de Jesús.
“Fue una gran persona que dejó todo atrás, todo, incluso su sangre, para los pobres, para los que no tenían zapatos, para los que tenían hambre”, y para los pobres que eran atacados por las creencias religiosas, como su familia, dijo Amaya.
En familia, contaron historias sobre él después de la Misa mientras recordaban sus sacrificios. “La forma más importante de recordar al Beato Romero es continuar su trabajo por la justicia, pero a veces es el momento de celebrar lo que hicimos hoy en el contexto de María a la que Romero se refirió como el” ideal de la iglesia ” Cinnamon Sarver, uno de los organizadores del evento.
Para el parroquiano Quintanilla, fue otra oportunidad para ayudarla a enseñar a su hijo Esaú sobre otro “gran ejemplo” de humildad y santidad que la iglesia provee. Él era un buen ejemplo de paz, de fe, de amor a los demás, dijo. “Espero que le ayude a ser amable con los demás, ser humilde, ser bueno”, como el beato Romero, agregó.

McComb couple travels to Africa to see fruits of their generosity

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – A McComb couple took the trip of a lifetime in February to meet a child they have supported for 14 years, but never met. Andy and Gail Spinnato spent 10 days in Nairobi, Kenya, on a tour with the Christian group, Unbound. They took with them 250 rosaries donated by the Knights of Columbus to distribute to the people they met.
Unbound was founded by four Catholic siblings and a friend as an effort to reach out to the marginalized people of the world. The organization sets up sponsorships for children and supports communities all around the world. The Spinnatos first heard about it from a visiting priest who preached at their parish more than a dozen years ago. “I picked a boy from Kenya. I was a teacher and my students were primarily African-American, so I wanted a child I could tell them stories about,” said Gail.
The Spinnatos sent money monthly and wrote letters to Peter for many years and they received letters and photos in return. This year, Unbound offered them a chance to go to Africa to see the results of all those years of work. “It was absolutely awesome,” said Gail of the meeting.
Peter is now 22 and wants to get a certification in plumbing so he can find work. “It’s interesting that he wants to do that since they have no running water in their home,” she added. When they met Peter and his mother, they did an art project together using hand prints. Gail went with Peter’s mother to the restroom to wash off the paint and realized she did not know how to operate the soap dispenser or automatic faucet because the African woman has never had running water in her home. One of the community projects Unbound is taking on in Peter’s village is a cistern to collect rainwater. Currently, everyone has to walk to a river a mile away to collect all the water they use. Projects like that one fall outside the monthly sponsorships, so the Spinnatos have been collecting for it since they returned.
Before the trip, the Spinnatos spent some time reflecting on their time as sponsors. “I went back through all the letters he has written. I made copies of some of them so he (Peter) could see the progress he made,” Gail explained. “He was very shy when it came to talking. Like many young people from foreign countries, he was hesitant to speak to a native speaker – still you could feel the connection through the love of Christ because he knows that love is how we are connected,” said Gail.
Fourteen other Unbound sponsors came on the trip, so the Spinnatos got to meet those families as well. As they traveled, they distributed rosaries made by fellow St. Alphonsus parishioner, Charles Schovel, who makes rosaries as a hobby. He recently donated more than 250 rosaries to the Knights of Columbus council there. Andy Spinnato is the Grand Knight of the council. When the knights heard about the Spinnatos trip, they decided that was the perfect place to distribute the rosaries.
“We take so much for granted. So to actually visit in homes and see people in such need, but to also see how they have so much dignity and pride and to see what they have been able to accomplish for themselves, it was amazing,” Gail said.
The Spinnatos left Africa with another connection. They were about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They had asked the priest celebrating Mass for a blessing, but he had another idea. “He called us up and we had to pull our wedding rings off our arthritic fingers and we renewed our vows,” she said.
Back in the states, the couple is currently making presentations at clubs or gatherings to invite others to become sponsors or donate to community development projects. They plan to return next February to travel into the country and see where Peter and his family live. The Spinnatos have decided to sponsor his younger sister, so the cycle of education and empowerment can continue.

Pope leads prayers for an end to ‘inhuman violence’ of terrorism

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – “Let us beg the Lord, God of mercy and peace, to free the world from this inhuman violence,” Pope Francis prayed after a week of deadly terrorist attacks in Africa and Europe.
Reciting the Angelus prayer at midday, the pope asked an estimated 10,000 people in St. Peter’s Square to pray in silence and then to join him in reciting the Hail Mary for the victims of the attacks the previous week in Burkina Faso, Spain and Finland.
At a restaurant in Ouagadougou Aug. 13, gunmen opened fire on people eating outside. Authorities in Burkina Faso said 18 people died and 20 were injured. The gunmen were believed to be part of a group known as “al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.”
In Spain, 13 people died after a van mowed down pedestrians Aug. 17 on Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas street and another woman died in a vehicle attack the next day in Cambrils. Five suspects were killed by police and other members of what authorities described as a 12-man terrorist cell were being sought.
In Turku, Finland, Aug. 18, two women were stabbed to death and eight other people were injured in what police described as a terrorist attack.
Among the pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for the midday prayer were the 50 first-year students of the Pontifical North American College, the seminary in Rome sponsored by the U.S. bishops. Pope Francis gave them a shoutout before wishing everyone in the square a happy Sunday.
In his main Angelus talk, the pope spoke about the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew about the Canaanite woman who persistently asks Jesus to heal her daughter.
“This woman’s interior strength, which allows her to overcome every obstacle, can be found in her maternal love and in her trust that Jesus can fulfill her request,” the pope said. “This makes me think of the strength of women. With their strength they are able to obtain great things. We’ve know many women like this.”
In the Gospel story, when the woman first cries out, Jesus seems to ignore her, the pope noted. But she is not discouraged and continues to call out to him.
In the end, Jesus recognizes her great faith and answers her request, the pope said. “Her insistence in invoking Christ’s intervention stimulates us never to be discouraged and not to despair when we are oppressed by the harsh trials of life.”
“The Lord does not turn away from our needs and, if sometimes he seems indifferent to our requests for help, it is to test us and strengthen our faith,” Pope Francis said. “We must continue to cry, like this woman: ‘Lord, help me. Lord, help me.’”

Christians oriented toward light, hope

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The ancient practice of orienting church buildings East to West — with the entrance facing West and the altar toward the East — was symbolic of the connection that exists between light and hope, Pope Francis said.
“What does it mean to be a Christian? It means looking toward the light, continuing to make a profession of faith in the light, even when the world is wrapped in the night and darkness,” Pope Francis said Aug. 2 at his weekly general audience.
With temperatures moving toward a forecasted 100 degrees, the pope resumed his audiences indoors after a month’s hiatus. He also resumed his series of audience talks about Christian hope.
He began by explaining how in ancient times the physical setting of a church building held symbolic importance for believers because the sun sets in the West, “where the light dies,” but rises in the East, where “the dawn reminds us of Christ, the sun risen from on high.”
In fact, he said, using the “language of the cosmos,” it was customary to have those about to be baptized proclaim their renunciation of Satan facing West and their profession of faith in God facing East.
Pope Francis did not touch on the debate about whether priests should celebrate Mass facing East, with their backs to the people, but focused on light as a symbol of Christian hope.
“Christians are not exempt from the darkness, either external or even internal,” he said. “They do not live outside the world, but because of the grace of Christ received though baptism, they are men and women who are ‘oriented’: they do not believe in the darkness, but in the light of day; they do not succumb to the night, but hope in the dawn; they are not defeated by death, but long for resurrection; they are not crushed by evil because they always trust in the infinite possibilities of goodness.”
Receiving the light of Christ at baptism, he said, Christians are called to be true “Christophers” or Christ-bearers, “especially to those who are going through situations of mourning, desperation, darkness and hatred.”
Christians who truly bear the light of Christ’s hope, he said, can be identified by the light in their eyes and by their serenity “even on the most complicated days.”

Vatican to bishops: check your hosts, wine

WASHINGTON (CNS) – The Vatican recently published a circular letter, “On the bread and wine for the Eucharist,” sent to diocesan bishops at the request of Pope Francis. Dated June 15 – the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ – the letter was made public by the Vatican July 8.
Because bread and wine for the Eucharist are no longer supplied just by religious communities, but “are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet,” bishops should set up guidelines, an oversight body and/or even a form of certification to help “remove any doubt about the validity of the matter for the Eucharist,” the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said.
In response to the Vatican statement, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Divine Worship has answered some of these frequently asked questions.
Q: Why is the Vatican worried about what makes up a Communion host? Doesn’t it have more important things to focus on?
A: To say that the Eucharist is important to Catholics is an understatement; the bishops at the Second Vatican Council referred to it as the “source of and summit of the Christian life.” On the night before he died, Jesus considered it important enough to spend time with his apostles at the Last Supper, telling them to continue to celebrate the Eucharist, instructing them to “do this in memory of me.” So the Vatican is naturally interested in making sure that this instruction is carried out properly, and this requires not only a priest who says the correct words, but also the use of the correct material. Therefore, the Catholic Church has strict requirements for the bread and wine used at Mass.
Q: Has the validity of the materials used for the Eucharist been a problem in the United States?
A: The circular letter is addressed to the entire church, to bishops all over the world. Circumstances are very different in various places around the globe, so it’s difficult to know whether the Holy See’s letter is a response to particular problems in certain places. It’s important to note that the letter does not introduce any new teachings or regulations – it simply reminds bishops of their important duty to ensure that the correct materials are used in the celebration of the Mass. We’re fortunate in our country, insofar as it’s not difficult to find bread and wine that are clearly suitable for the Mass.
Q: Concerning low-gluten hosts, how much gluten is in them? Are they safe for someone with celiac disease?
A: The gluten content in low-gluten hosts can vary by producer, but they typically contain less than 0.32 percent gluten. Foods with less than 20 parts per million gluten can be marketed as “gluten-free,” and some low-gluten hosts – while containing enough gluten to satisfy the church’s requirements for Mass – would even fall into that category. The amount of gluten present in low-gluten hosts is considered safe for the vast majority of people with gluten-related health difficulties.
Q: For someone who does not want any exposure to gluten, the church says that Communion may be received under the species of wine alone. What happens if a diocese does not offer Communion under both species?
A: Parishes are more than willing to make special arrangements to assist people who need to receive the Precious Blood instead of the host for medical reasons, even if the parish doesn’t normally offer Communion under both kinds. It can take a little advanced planning to organize the procedures, but pastors are happy to do this. If for some reason a person in this situation runs into difficulties at the parish level, he or she should contact the bishop’s office for assistance.
Q: What about someone, especially a priest, who has alcoholism? Is grape juice allowed?
A: Grape juice is not allowed for the Catholic Mass, but the use of “mustum” can be permitted. Mustum is a kind of wine that has an extremely low alcohol content. It’s made by beginning the fermentation process in grape juice, but then suspending the process such that the alcohol content generally remains below 1 percent, far lower than the levels found in most table wines.
Q: Who do I talk with if these issues are a concern of mine? Must my pastor accommodate my needs?
A: Someone who suffers in this way should talk to his or her pastor. Naturally, if someone arrives with this kind of request at the last second before Mass is set to begin, the pastor might not be able to accommodate his or her needs. But if someone reaches out in a reasonable manner, pastors are happy to help. Again, if someone runs into difficulties in this regard, he or she should contact the bishop’s office for assistance. One of the greatest duties and privileges of bishops and priests is making the Eucharist available to the Catholic faithful, and they do their best to make this possible.