I think I have officially arrived at Are-you-kidding-me-ville. This time I was propelled by all things “Gluten Free”.
It started innocently enough, when ‘No gluten’ was doctors’ orders for people with celiac disease. In fact I knew two people, personally, who simply could NOT eat foods containing wheat, barley and rye food products. I knew from them how tough it was to avoid gluten, not to mention the work-around necessary at family mealtime. But, for Celiacs, it was non negotiable. It was a serious matter and they did what they needed to do. More recently, I learned about others for whom “no gluten” was simply a healthier-eating choice. It wasn’t absolutely necessary. But, frankly, preferable. OK, I get that.
Then, suddenly – when I least expected it – it went over-the-top. While looking at the backside of a local church bulletin on my friend’s coffee table, I spotted a small, boxed note in the lower left-hand corner: “Gluten-free Hosts”. Details of the offer “for parishioners and friends who may need them” advised as to how to order ahead. It’s all I needed to start wondering, “How do signal the priest at Communion time that you want one of those? “How many people actually request a gluten-free host?” And, really, “Where does the church get a special item like this – Whole Hosts?
Questions flooded my head. But most compelling to me was this: “What in God’s name did Celiac Catholics do before this?”