Posted June 11th, 2014 | Events, From the Feedbag, GIFT, Media, Video

Giving the GIFT of Holy Communion with Gluten Consciences

Since the introduction of the newest liturgical vessel, The GIFT: Gluten Intolerant Faithful Thanksgiving, we have had an overwhelming positive response.  There were also a few questions, which I hope to answer in this “From the Feed Bag.”

Click to watch the official video for The GIFT and learn more.

Can people diagnosed with Celiac Disease receive the special low-gluten host approved by the Catholic Church?


There is a difference between people who have a gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy, and celiac disease.  The special hosts approved by the Catholic Church have the lowest possible amount of wheat in order to be valid for sacramental consecration.  As the video shows, even people with celiac disease may be able to receive the host without any noticeable physical reactions.  With the GIFT and approved special low gluten hosts, the Church has addressed the special considerations of those with celiac disease in the most pastorally and seriously approved way possible. 


Tabernacle of St. Patrick’s Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

If the priest uses both hands for the “fraction rite” is there still a chance of “cross contamination” even if he uses his other hand to distribute the special approved hosts from the GIFT vessel?



The Church has the responsibility to be attentive to people with gluten conditions (allergies, intolerances, or diseases) while avoiding the temptation to be scrupulous and obtuse in regards to handling the sacred hosts.  While the fraction rite (i.e., when the priest breaks the host) means that the priest uses both hands, the moisture from his hands alone provides enough “cleansing” to safely distribute the special low gluten host in a pastorally attentive way.  Using the other hand (after wiping on the corporal) also helps to avoid fears of cross contamination. 


Missionaries of Charity Novices praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

Why can’t people with gluten conditions just use the chalice and receive the Precious Blood?


Drinking the Precious Blood from the chalice provides the communicant the full sign of Communion.  However, many churches do not offer Communion under both Forms.  Some also prefer not to receive the Sacred Blood for personal hygienic concerns, which is why some churches do not offer the Precious Blood during flu season.  Some also have personal or other medical reasons for not receiving the consecrated wine, the Blood of Christ. This GIFT simply provides an easy way to give Communion without drawing more attention to the person with the special gluten concerns.


Is this a real concern for the church? Are we somehow making these “diets” a bigger deal?



Gluten conditions are medical conditions, which the Church takes very seriously.  Creating the GIFT is a pastoral response to a biological problem that is unfortunately growing in numbers.  It’s not the Church’s position to disregard or dismiss, but to be attentive to people who have special conditions.  The GIFT provides a pastoral and sacred way to easily distribute Communion without calling too much attention to those persons, and without creating hassle for the priest or liturgists during this most sacred time at Mass.



Why is the GIFT more expensive than those pyxes that many people have?



When creating the GIFT, I made a prayerful and conscious decision to work with Alviti Creations, a reputable Catholic Family owned vessel-making company with experience for the past 40 years.  They told me they do not make sacred vessels with cheap materials.  It’s our shared philosophy that the GIFT ought to be a worthy vessel, keeping with the liturgical laws and sacred traditions of the Roman Catholic Faith.  The Church believes that the consecrated hosts, even if they are low gluten, are the Body of Christ deserving more than cheap materials or an inferior plastic lined pyx. This is a sacred vessel because it holds the Most Sacred Gift. Working with Alviti Creations has been a blessed decision, and I’m proud to be their partner in this special project.



Praying before the Blessed Sacrament at the Eucharist Chapel of the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.


Where can I get the GIFT?



You can order your GIFT by contacting Alviti Creations, or by contacting your local liturgical distributor. It’s important to speak with your pastor and the pastoral / liturgical team about this good news for special Communion needs.  This also provides a real opportunity for the entire parish to have a catechetical “refresher” on the spiritual and practical aspects of receiving Holy Communion, i.e., going to confession, showing the proper piety and posture for Communion, and also pastorally letting people know that special gluten concerns ought not prevent you from receiving Holy Communion.





  • What do you think of this vessel?
  • Do you have other questions about this vessel?
  • Will you please take action, and help spread this message to your parishes and families?

Please post your comments HERE, as these help our movement learn and grow. 



Let us pray:


Father, thank You for the Gift of the Eucharist, and for sending Your spirit upon the Church with the idea for this new vessel.  We pray for all who receive Communion, may they do so with hearts that are humble, joyful and most importantly hungry for Your saving Grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 



WATCH: Fr. Leo on ‘The World Over with Raymond Arroyo’ on EWTN


Click to watch Fr. Leo on The World OVer with Raymond Arroyo.

Fr. Leo was a special guest on ‘The World Over with Raymond Arroyo’ on June 5, 2014. Fr. Leo speaks on Grace Before Meals and The GIFT Vessel in greater details.

Click to watch Fr. Leo on FOX45


Fr. Leo returns to FOX45 to share his new invention for those with a gluten intolerance who want to receive communion during Mass: The GIFT (Gluten Intolerant Faithful Thanksgiving). Watch him explain it further and share the news!

Click to hear Fr. Leo’s interview on The Good Catholic Life

Fr. Leo talks with Michael Lavigne and Dom Bettinelli about the necessity of grace before meals, of feasting and fasting, and of understanding how God wants to satisfy our hungers even as He hungers for us.


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Videos of Fr. Leo’s 

Excellent Adventures

Fr. Leo is back in Italy right now following a Couples’ Retreat with Teresa Tomeo and her husband, Deacon Don Pastore. As he reunites with his priest friends from seminary, it provides another opportunity to check out more on Fr. Leo’s latest adventures, pilgrimages and involvements. And he wants you to get involved.

1) Video Trailer for the Napa Valley Pilgrimage 2014

Click to see the video on Youtube and share with friends!


Fr. Leo led this pilgrimage back in 2011 and it was an incredible time. But don’t take out word for it, check out the trailer by clicking the linked image! Preview not only a wonderful experience and time with other pilgrims, enjoying the tastes of Napa Valley, but truly venture deeper into the Catholic faith in ways you never thought possible. The Fruit of the Vine, Work of Human Hands trip is November 9-14, 2014 and you can find out how to register by going to the following link:

2) Please Support the 225


Fr. Leo invites you to support The 225, a celebration of the 225th Anniversary of the first diocese in the United States, Baltimore, MD – the place he calls home. We’re planning a number of events featuring the award winning film, The Blood & The Rose with reflections from Father Leo and others. The Blood and The Rose is the most complete and inspiring documentary film about the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe. These events provide a true opportunity for spiritual growth and evangelization, as well as a fundraising opportunity for your cause.

Purchase your spiritual event package before July 31, 2014, the 12th anniversary of St. Juan Diego’s canonization, to get it at the special discount $525. After July 31, the package will cost $1000.00 to license the film, so raise more funds for your parish, group, or organization while you can.
3) The Gift 

The Gift (Gluten Intolerant Faithful Thanksgiving) has been gaining a lot of attention from parishes, media and faithful alike. Watch the video by clicking the image above and share with your parish to share the Gift with those in need. You can check with Alviti Creations to find out more about the Gift at

4) Return to the Holy Land

Following an incredible journey earlier in 2014, Fr. Leo is happy to return to the Holy Land on February 1-12, 2015, and you’re invited!

You can click the link below for the registration form to preview the adventure, and be sure to also check out some of Fr. Leo’s blog posts and video from earlier this year.

5) Stay in Touch

Some things never change! Check out more by going to Fr. Leo’s Facebook page.

Fr. Leo may be returning next week, but he hits the ground running, visiting Fairfax, VA, Ellicott City, MD, Spring Lake, NJ, Fort Wayne, IN, and more events before heading off for the Steubenville Conferences in June and July. So he will be sending out a number of Blasts from the Past in the coming summer months.
But no matter where he is, you can keep up and in touch with him via Facebook and Twitter. He loves to have a conversation, and would love to meet more of the ‘GBM fam’, so be sure to drop a line his way and SHARE with family and friends.

6) Check out Fr. Leo’s books & resources!
Finally, you should be sure to catch up on summer reading by checking out Fr. Leo’s newest book and theology of food, Epic Food Fight and get a Bite-Sized History of Salvation. And be sure to keep up with your month-a-versary with your spouse by checking out Spicing Up Married Life. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic Grace Before Meals, featuring the Famous Fusion Fajitas recipe that defeated Bobby Flay, coming up on the 5th Anniversary in June!

Let us Pray for those going on vacation:


Father in Heaven, guide all travelers in their destinations. Give them patience, joy, perseverance and love as they travel in these coming summer months.  Provide them safety and peace, now and until they reach their final destination in heaven, through your mercy and goodness, in the name of Jesus The Lord. 



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Posted in Epic Food Fight, GIFT, Prayers, Spicing Up Married Life, Video, What's On the Table | No Comments »

Posted May 14th, 2014 | Dinner Discussion, GIFT, Prayers, Video


The GIFT for Gluten Conditions and Holy Communion

This past Mother’s Day Weekend I launched a new video on our social network avenues.  We wanted to share with you a new liturgical vessel that I created along with Alviti Creations.  It’s called “GIFT” – Gluten Intolerant Faithful Thanksgiving.  This new (first of its kind, really) hook-on-mini-ciboria provides a simple solution for churches who have members who have to receive a special gluten free host.  As I travel across the country, I’ve seen how people with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or celiac disease create tension, confusion and unnecessary attention for receiving Holy Communion. I knew there had to be a better way!     

Click to watch the promo video about the GIFT

With the GIFT, Grace Before Meals has given Mother Church a helpful tool, a new sacred vessel to help parishioners realize that Mother Church understands your special condition.

These “bagels” from the Holy Land are delicious, but for many people with gluten conditions, they cannot enjoy the “breaking of the bread.”

How fitting to release our product on Mother’s Day. It reminds me of how moms (and dads too), have to help their children with special conditions feel as “normal” as possible.  Recently I met a mother whose child was diagnosed with severe food allergies.  This mother had to relearn how to cook everything! And she did it because she has the great responsibility to feed her children, while never making her child sense they are a “burden.”

I met this wonderful family in Oak Grove, Minnesota. They adopted all of these children from Mother Theresa’s Orphanage from around the world. They know children aren’t a ‘burden’ but the greatest of blessings!

If you have a gluten condition, don’t worry!  Mother Church wants to feed you with the Body and Blood of Christ.  This GIFT vessel will help you to receive the GREATEST GIFT of all – the Eucharist.

May I ask that you PLEASE tell your friends, fellow parishioners, and your priests about this video. PLEASE show them this link on how to get this for their faith community and parish.  PLEASE help us to spread the message about sincere people who have gluten concerns.  And, please pray that this GIFT will help all of us value our Heavenly Faith and our Heavenly Food.

Let us Pray:


Lord, You give us the Eucharist as the memorial of Your suffering and death.  May our worship of Sacrament of Your Body and Blood, help us to experience the salvation You won for us, and the peace of the Kingdom.  Where You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.



  • Do you have Gluten conditions, and do you think this GIFT will help you in receiving Holy Communion?  
  • Why do you suppose there are more people who are developing allergies to common foods such as peanuts, wheat, and dairy?  
  • Do you have any ideas on how we can get this message of the GIFT out there in the world, to help people with Gluten Conditions to receive the Eucharist peacefully?


Your responses and posts to these questions, along with any other comments, are very helpful in keeping our movement strong.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions.

5/18/14 – 5/27/14


Rome, Italy 

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Posted in Dinner Discussion, GIFT, Prayers, Video | 5 Comments »