In the July 8 issue of The Catholic Commentator Father Kenneth Doyle responded to a letter from someone who asked if it was appropriate for a priest or eucharastic minister to say the name of the communicant when he gave them Communion. 

As Catholics we are blessed to be able to receive the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It only takes a moment for a priest to place the host in our hands and for us to receive Jesus into our bodies. In those few seconds we experience this wonderful moment that is at the heart of our Catholic faith. The priest or eucharistic minister is a representative of Jesus. When they say my name it makes it more personal for me and I feel as though Jesus himself is calling me to receive him into my life.

I attend Mass at both St. George and Our Lady of Mercy, which both have very large congregations. It is impossible for the priests to know the names of everyone who receives Communion. But I don’t think it would be hurtful to anyone who doesn’t have his name called, especially since we are all aware of the fact that the priest or eucharistic minister may not know us personally.

There is a eucharistic minister at Our Lady of Mercy from whom I frequently receive Communion. She doesn’t know my name, nor do I know hers. But her smile and her entire demeanor seem to say, “I feel blessed to be able to share this moment with you.”

She doesn’t have to say my name because she makes it such a special moment for both of us. But I think saying one’s name when he or she is receiving Communion just makes it a more personal experience.

Mary Michel

Baton Rouge