St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ C22

Controversy about celebrating the Eucharist is a major theme in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. In Paul’s time, the community celebrated the Eucharist as a communal meal. But there was a problem: the wealthy could arrive before their servants and eat and drink as much as they wanted, leaving leftovers for their servants or anyone else who came later than them. What was supposed to be a communion service was anything but. Paul really laid into them, closing with a condemnation that their worship did them more harm than good by writing “One who eats the bread or drinks the cup unworthily is answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.”

Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, there have been pendulum swings in receiving communion. In fact, at one period of time, there were screens set up in the sanctuary that hid the priest celebrating the Mass from the congregation. Hence, the ringing of bells to announce the consecration, a single ring, followed by three rings, and another single ring as each specie was consecrated.  Then, before there was con-celebration, churches had many side altars where a priest said his own Mass. That led to an abuse as some would time their arrival to receive as many communions as possible; thus the rule that you could receive only once a day by attending the whole Mass, at least from the Gospel until the Prayer after Communion. At some point in time, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament became popular, so much so people didn’t receive Communion which led to a rule you had to receive at least once a year during Easter Season. Pius X said not only adults but children also could receive communion when they could appreciate the meaning of the sacrament. To highlight the difference of regular food and drink from the Body and Blood of Jesus, people were instructed not eat or drink anything (except water) from Midnight on; thus the popularity of early morning Masses. Then to encourage more people to receive, the rule was changed to three hours fasting and then one hour.

But a bigger problem has emerged: just 30% of Catholics in this country understand the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist! And so, the Bishops of the United States, after a year of controversy about who can or cannot receive Communion, settled upon a document, “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.”  Beginning today, there will be a three year plan to explain the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist: year one with a diocesan focus around the country; in 2023, the emphasis will be on parishes and resources to understand what the Eucharist really means; finally, a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis from July 17-21, 2024. I pray it will be successful.

One fundamental question we have to ask about receiving the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is this: Is receiving a reward for good behavior or a help for sinners? 

“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”        

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Send your prayer requests to or call the parish office @ 295-0001.

The Hospital Doesn't Tell Us You're There!

hospital sign clip artBecause of HIPAA regulations, pastors and deacons are not given access to information about parishioners who are in the hospital. Please be sure to contact the parish office if you would like Father Sas, Deacon John, or a Eucharistic Minister to visit you or a loved one who is hospitalized.

Please include the patient's given name, hospital name, and dates of anticipated stay. In case of an emergency, please call Father Sas or Deacon John using the numbers on the front cover of the bulletin. Our pastoral staff is also happy to visit those who are homebound.

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