Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Germs at Church. A Christmas hepatitis scare at a Long Island church in New York has church clergy across the region examining health and hygiene issues. It’s not bad enough that Catholics have a tradition of sharing a sip of wine out of the same cup at Communion but now parishioners are getting diseases from the filthy hand that gives you the wafer at Communion. This all represents the body and blood of Christ and all in the church are welcomed to share and receive the wine and wafer to represent this all important part of the Mass service.
Lets receive the body of Christ in a dispenser. Yes, now even you too can receive your Jesus in a dispenser. This thing looks like a cut off bong. Add some incense to the experience and you are all spiritual, Cool Man!!!! It feels like the 70’s all over again. You can get this experience at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Clark, N.J. here parishioners no longer hand the communion wafers in your mouth or in your hand. The dispenser plops one in your palm. Yes, folks, its called the communion host dispenser. They pull the trigger and a wafer dispenses into a bowl or directly into your palm.
Why? The Nassau County Department of Health announced that someone diagnosed with the hepatitis A virus was involved with distributing communion at two Christmas Day services at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park. The department didn’t identify the person who was infected, saying only that individuals who received communion at those Masses could have been exposed to the virus, which can be transmitted by consuming food or drink that has been handled by an infected person.
Though there has never been a reported case of hepatitis A transmission through a communion wafer, after consulting with state and federal health officials, the health department decided to recommend that anyone who attended those Masses receive the vaccine. Do you still want volunteers to help out at Mass? Show up with a clear doctors note to Church. Hepatitis A isn’t as serious as hepatitis B or C and the disease generally goes away on its own within a couple of weeks. Symptoms can appear between 15 and 50 days within exposure.
Concerns over germs spreading reached their peak as the H1N1 flu spread starting in 2009 and vaccines at that time were in short supply. At that time, the Diocese of Brooklyn told its members to refrain from using a communal chalice. Monsignor Frank Wissel of St. Mary Parish in Greenwich, Conn. Stopped distributing the communion cup to its congregants altogether. Questions over germs have led to a small but growing industry of businesses targeting churches with their antigerm communion wares.
Tom Monk, vice president of Artistic Manufacturing, an Iowa-based communion supplies company, said interest in pillow packs-communion wafers with wine inside them-has been on the rise. O Jees!!! Really an industry product in Jesus accessories!!

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