Be part of the distribution of Holy Communion team at the Papal Mass
in the Phoenix Park on Sunday August 26th
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 14:13-21, we read how Jesus fed the five thousand. Jesus “blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” It looks likely that we will have as many as 500,000 present for the final Mass of the World Meeting of Families 2018 at which Pope Francis will be our principal celebrant.
We are seeking the generous help of around 4,000 ministers of Holy Communion to volunteer for one day to be Christ’s disciples helping to give the Bread of Life to the people at this historic Papal Mass. This is open to any of those who are already trained and assisting with the distribution of Holy Communion in their own parishes. We are looking for the help of lay people, priests, deacons and religious Ministers of Holy Communion.
Those volunteering need to be already trained and functioning ministers of Holy Communion in your own parish community. You will need to be steady on your feet. Although there will be some plastic tracking laid down, much of the distribution will be done in the grassy corrals of the Phoenix Park Papal Mass site. You will need to be Garda vetted for this event, even though you have been vetted for this ministry in your own parish (if you are already Garda vetted for WMOF2018, that suffices).
You will need to be in the Phoenix Park by 10:30AM on SUNDAY 26th August so as to be walked through how and where you will minister. It may not be possible for you to be assigned to minister in the place where your family or fellow parishioners are situated, but we hope this won’t put you off generously stepping up to help with this important task. And we will do our best to keep parish groups working together.
For many months we have been making preparations. We have 4,500 ciboria (patens for the communion hosts) newly made and well over half a million hosts available to us, thanks to the generosity of the Redemptoristine Sisters of St Alphonsus’ Monastery, Dublin 9 and the Cistercian Sisters from Glencairn, Co Waterford.
The first main block of the faithful (around 78,000 people) will receive the blessed Eucharist directly from the sanctuary area. For the remainder of the people, who will be in corrals of around 1,400 people, we will have 16 ‘sub-chapels’ positioned beside large video screens from which we will co-ordinate distribution to every other sector. We will assign a team of 9 people to each corral. 8 people will distribute Holy Communion, in twos, in each of the four corners of the corral, with each Communion point being marked by a white umbrella. Those who are unable to receive an ordinary Communion host can be reassured that one minister will be assigned to the centre of each corral to distribute only Low Gluten hosts. That point will be indicated by a red umbrella.
In that Gospel of Matthew we hear also how Jesus’ disciples carefully “took up what was left over of the broken pieces”. It is our hope that we will be able to distribute whatever Holy Communion is left over from the Papal Mass to hospitals and nursing homes all over the island, so that those who weren’t able to be present and who followed the Mass on television can receive from this tremendous event.
Please communicate this request to members of your Parish Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion – come and serve at this historic event!