One special way our community contributes to the greater church is by producing
|sisters at old bakers|
If a sister was really good, she could handle 2 bakers at a time. I've heard some claims to handling three!
By 1992 we upgraded our altar bread equipment and switched to one large baker that contained 30 plates - the equivalent of 30 baking machines, as seen below and to the right. This monster baker can churn out 1 baked sheet every 5 seconds or so and only
requires one alert baker.
|Sr. Jane spreading batter on|
I think it took about 10 years to come up with the right recipe. This has been a labor intensive project as we have used basic breakfast waffle irons (with flat plates instead of ridges) for years until a recent generous gift of a modern baker from an anonymous religious community no longer using it. The 'waffle-iron' breads were kind of crunchy and rough looking (but decent tasting). The breads from our new baker are smooth and almost melt in your mouth.
This has been a blessing for us to do as we receive letters or e-mails like this one just sent yesterday from a woman in Connecticut:
We just received a new box of your low-gluten hosts. I just want to tell you that I am forever grateful for your efforts on the behalf of Catholics with celiac disease. I never receive Communion without having you in prayer. I have to admit that part of me is going to miss the funky handmade hosts, because it was such a tangible demonstration of your commitment to this small population.
I was desperately sick when I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease in 2000. I was literally dying of starvation--90 pounds at 5'8". But I accepted the gluten-free diet with bitterness until you produced your low-gluten host. THAT the was one thing that changed everything. After that, I could accept everything else. Thank you for everything you have done for us, the celiac Catholic community...
It's hard for me to imagine what it would have been like to have celiac disease and NOT be able to receive the Bread of LIfe before our community was able to produce low-gluten breads. But we get new e-mails like the one above several times a week so all the years of failed experiments were worth it to our sisters.
Truly we ARE all ONE body in Christ.