May 11, 2009
To: Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Diocese of Austin
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
After appropriate consultation, I am pleased to inform you that effective this weekend Holy Communion can be offered under both species, that is the Body of Christ in the Eucharistic bread and the Blood of Christ in the Eucharistic chalice.
People who are sick or are not feeling well can abstain from drinking from the cup in a spirit of charity to others. Likewise, when we are ill the obligation to celebrate Mass with the community on Sunday is not mandatory.
I am very appreciative of the people who have been patient and understanding during this time of caution regarding the swine flu virus.
Please join me in continued prayer for those who have been affected by the virus and for those whose lives have been taken by the virus.
The Sign of Peace should be given as usual. For those who are ill or do not believe that it is safe for them to exchange the Sign of Peace, a verbal greeting is acceptable and people who make such decisions should be respected.
May we continue to grow in a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Each time we celebrate Eucharist we continue to fulfill that command of Jesus, “Do this in memory of me.” In communion we receive the Body and Blood of Christ and we become his body going forth from our celebration to bring him and his message to the world. May we continue to be a Eucharistic people.
Wishing you God’s blessings in this Easter season and with the assurance of my prayers, I am
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond
Bishop of Austin
Friday, May 15, 2009
Swine Flu Restrictions Lifted
From the Diocese of Austin: