From a reader…
I work at a religious supply store and yesterday a local religious sister came in and asked to be shown our selection of pyxes. I led her to the cabinet where they are kept and indicated that some of them are lined with plastic and therefore not actually appropriate for transportation of the Sacred Species. She responded that the metal pyxes are too expensive and expressed a desire to see if the pyxes fit the hosts her parish uses. [You can sense that disaster is about to strike… right?] She then removed a pyx from her pocket, and began placing hosts into one of the plastic-lined pyxes. I asked her if these were consecrated, she replied that they were. I knelt. I was confused, had no idea what to do. The first thing I said was that I didn’t think I could sell the pyx anymore since it had touched the Blessed Sacrament. [Good thinking. You’re mind is on the right track.] However, she said that she would have to just take it then. I went to the counter and waited for her to check out while she proceeded to have a leisurely conversation with a priest who was also in the store at the time. When she finished I sold her the pyx and a few other items with as little speech as possible in deference to the Holy Presence.
My question to you, Father, is what should I do now? Should this irreverence be reported to her pastor or the bishop?
Just when you think you’ve heard everything.
Definitely, the pastor and/or the bishop should be contacted.
This would not quite rise to the level of a violation of the Blessed Sacrament spoken of in can. 1367, but is absolutely inappropriate to do, especially for someone (a religious sister, no less) with any sort of official position within the Church.
There are going to be unavoidable occasions when someone carrying the Blessed Sacrament has to stop for some business other than taking the Eucharist directly to the communicant. Stopping because of an accident is about all that comes to mind. But “testing out” new pyxes?!? Chatting with another customers, priest or not?!?
If one is concerned about the size of a pyx, unconsecrated hosts work just as well, BETTER as a matter of fact, because with them you are not committing the sin of sacrilege and scandalizing people!
And DO IT ON YOUR OWN TIME!
I contacted a couple of trusted people about this to get their reactions… to double-check myself….
A priest wrote:
I would counsel the clerk to speak with the pastor of the parish to register his dismay. He should be ready to be told “Thanks” or “What’s your problem?” This highlights the absolute horror that the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion has brought upon the Church. The Holy Eucharist is treated as a commodity by ill-trained and ignorant people. This innovation has been found wanting, and needs to be abolished.
This reveals a serious deficit in training of many extraordinary ministers. And even if it is an isolated case, repetita iuvant. Repeated things help. The more something is important, the more something should should be stressed. The more sacred (or dangerous) the action, the greater the need for training. Handling that which is sacred is dangerous, tremendum.