Saint Theresa Parish

A Roman Catholic Community
5045 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-0850 Parish Office
(602) 840-0871 Parish Fax  

Parish Email

Parish Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00AM-Noon & 1:00PM-5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM-Noon          Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
9:00AM (Liturgy with Children)
11:00AM and
5:00PM (Teen and Young Adult)

Daily Masses
Monday through Friday
6:30AM and Saturday at 8:00AM
Holy Day Masses as announced in bulletin prior to the Holy Day.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment


Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri


Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri


Saint Theresa Catholic School
5001 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 840-0010 School Office
(602) 840-8323 School Fax



« Reflections - December 2, 2018 | Main | Reflections - November 18, 2018 »

Reflections - November 25, 2018

My Brothers and Sisters,

A “wise elder” of the parish recently mentioned to me how he thought it might be helpful for me to share a brief catechesis (religious teaching) on Holy Communion – specifically, what the Church teaches about the reception at Communion of the Body of Christ as well as the Blood of Christ. He has, over the years, heard from people who wonder if they are receiving “all of Holy Communion” if they choose to receive the Host while abstaining from the Chalice – or, are they only receiving “partial Communion?”  

Well, to answer this question in a word: No. One receives the entirety of the Body and Blood of Christ when one received under one species (form) of the Eucharist – i.e., under the form of bread alone or under the form of wine alone. Either way, the “all” of Jesus Christ is received. To receive both the Body and Blood of Christ is a “fuller sign” of the Sacrament (keeping in mind Jesus’ words to his disciples at the Last Supper “Take and eat, this is my Body… take and drink, this is my Blood) but the person who receives under both species is not receiving “more Jesus” than the one who receives only the Host, or only the Cup.

To place all of this in an historical context: according to the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds (as found as an appendix of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal), “From the first days of the Church’s celebration of the Eucharist, Holy Communion consisted of the reception of both species in fulfillment of the Lord’s command to ‘take and eat… take and drink.’  The distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful under both kinds was thus the norm for more than a millennium of Catholic liturgical practice” (§17).  “The practice of Holy Communion under both kinds at Mass continued until the late eleventh century, when the custom of distributing the Eucharist to the faithful under the form of bread alone began to grow.  By the twelfth century theologians such as Peter Cantor speak of Communion under one kind as a ‘custom’ of the church.  This practice spread until the Council of Constance in 1415 decreed that Holy Communion under the form of bread alone would be distributed to the faithful” (§18).  But, in 1963 – in the document Sacrosantum Concilium of the Second Vatican Council – the Church authorized the extension of the faculty to receive Communion under both kinds to all the faithful, teaching “Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds” and “at the same time, the faithful should be instructed to participate more readily in this sacred rite (receiving under both kinds), by which the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is made more fully evident” (§20).

While the practice of the faithful receiving under both species has been restored by the Second Vatican Council, this “does not represent a change in the Church’s immemorial beliefs concerning the Holy Eucharist” (§21) – i.e., one who receives Communion under one species alone is still receiving the entire “Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.”

Sometimes, you might note a person receiving only from the Cup – while not receiving the Host.  Most often this is due to a wheat or gluten allergy that a communicant might have. It should be noted that low-gluten Hosts are available for those suffering celiac disease or other gluten sensitivity; a person in need of such a Host is asked to simply stop in the sacristy ten minutes or so before Mass and the procedure for reception of the low-gluten host will be explained by a priest deacon or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. 

God is so good to us, nourishing us with the very Body and Blood of his Son… so that we may live fully and joyfully as Christ’s disciples!


Peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer