Cardinal’s letter on revised guidelines for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

March 5, 2009

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Allow me to share with you that, following extensive efforts on the part of those who assist me with matters pertaining to liturgical directives for the Archdiocese, I am now issuing a new Policy on the Use of Extraordinary Ministers in the Archdiocese of Boston, which is to be enacted as of March 1, 2009. This new Policy, which is to be observed wherever the Mass is celebrated in the Archdiocese, including in celebrations with small groups, replaces the directives issued on February 20, 1991. Additionally, by way of this letter, pastors, parish administrators, rectors and priests in team ministry are granted the habitual faculty to appoint extraordinary ministers of communion for their own community and for other institutions in their territory (e.g., schools, hospitals, etc.).

As particular law for the Archdiocese of Boston, this Policy is to be applied in accord with the provisions of all applicable universal law (including, but not limited to, the Code of Canon Law, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, and the Ceremonial of Bishops), as well as the particular law binding all dioceses of the United States, namely the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

At this time, allow me to also express my gratitude for the dedication of the many men and women who serve as extraordinary ministers of Communion; we are greatly blessed by their devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

Please be assured of my prayers for you and all your loved ones as we go forward with the work of the Church.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap.

Archbishop of Boston

James McDonough