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Woman Desecrates Host, Ticketed for Trespassing

You know there's a looooooong history to a story like this. But here's the upshot as it's being reported. A priest had a mother and her daughter ticketed by police for tresspasing after it was reported that the woman's daughter spit out the host in the parking lot after a previous Mass.

The DestinLog reports:

Navarre resident Jackie Trebesh said she was flabbergasted and irritated when a Catholic priest denied her and her daughter Holy Communion, and then had a Santa Rosa County deputy pull her over.

She said she was so surprised by the actions of The Rev. John Kelly at St. Sylvester’s Catholic Church in Gulf Breeze she thought at first she was being “pranked.”

“He’s not God. He can’t do that to people,” she said.

Trebesh said she and her 19-year-old daughter Rachel attended a Friday morning service and were turned away when they approached the priest to take Holy Communion.

Trebesh said Kelly told them, as he denied them communion, that he would explain his actions after the mass had ended.

She said she decided not to wait around for the end of the service and had left the church parking lot when a deputy pulled her over.

Trebesh said the deputy informed her that Kelly had requested the traffic stop. She and her daughter were issued trespass warnings.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and the Catholic Church confirmed much of her story, but said there were justifiable reasons for their actions.

According to Trebesh, she learned the reason she was denied communion was because someone at the church had seen the daughter dispose of the host, as it is called, improperly in the church parking lot.

The Catholic Church believes the wafer provided during Holy Communion to have been transformed during the mass to the actual body of Christ.

“The matter of disposing of the Eucharist in an inappropriate way is a serious matter to us,” Peggy Dekeyser, the communications officer for the diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee said in confirming Trebesh’s theory.

Trebesh said the only thing she could think of that Kelly or anyone else might have seen her daughter do was “spit out a piece of gum in the parking lot.”

Asked if the substance of the item Rachel Trebesh was seen disposing of had been verified, Dekeyser declined comment.

Sgt. Scott Haines with the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office verified the fact Trebesh was pulled over as she left St. Sylvester’s Church. He said the church had requested Trebesh be given a trespass warning.

“We issued the trespass warning on behalf of the church,” Haines said. “They were banned from being on the property.”
The diocese's spokesperson said they'd be willing to speak further to the woman and her daughter concerning the issue.

You know this sadly won't be the end of this story.

All I can think is that I wish we could have this priest transferred over to Nancy Pelosi's parish.

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PattyinCT said...

Spot on Matthew! I agree!

There are so many Eucharistic abuses. What a humiliation for our Lord to come in simple bread, without having to be regarded as chewing gum to be "spit out" at the end of Mass! This is sickening...

Anonymous said...

I appreciate - REALLY appreciate - a priest willing to exercise the authority given to him by Christ Jesus our Lord.

Julie Robison said...

I second the appreciation.

DUMB BLOND said...


Rather than driving off angry, wouldn't a reasonable family just wait until mass ended for the explanation? In that case, if it truly were a misunderstanding, they would be able to work it out.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

Sounds like the Padre made all the right moves.

There is a process to retrieve a desecrated Host.

Anonymous said...

Our mission in East Texas was disrupted by a local nutter last fall, and several years ago an evil woman -- she actually hissed -- tried to take the Precious Body away. We must all be alert.

-- Mack

Feryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tobias said...

"Trebesh said the only thing she could think of that Kelly or anyone else might have seen her daughter do was 'spit out a piece of gum in the parking lot.'"

So it wasn't the Eucharist, it was just a piece of gum she had been chewing during Mass?

I can't tell you how many times stuff like that happens.

Tobias said...

Oh, and I meant that with a note of sarcasm. Chewing gum during Mass ain't much better, especially if someone receives the Eucharist while chewing gum.

Maria said...

This is my parish. I did not know all the details till a friend forwarded me this website. But a few months ago during his homily, Fr. Kelly told us that there had been two instances of a parishioner finding a host in the parking lot on the ground after Mass. He proceeded to give a very serious instruction on the proper way to receive Holy Communion, and also stipulated that no one was to step to the side to receive the Host. They were to consume it immediately in the direct view of himself or the EME. He instructed parents with children in their arms to receive on the tongue, and that under no circumstances were people to hold one hand out or try to take the Host from the EME's hand. He said that if he were alerted to someone attempting to leave the church without consuming the Host, he would leave the altar, follow them out and recover the Body of Christ by force if necessary.

Anonymous said...

If it's true, then the priest did the right thing.

I just don't see how it could be true. I usually don't do anything to make the host disintegrate in my mouth—I just let it sit there—and it's usually gone in less than two minutes.

I even go to Mass at a place where there are Masses every half-hour in the morning, so after communion, there's only a couple of minutes (three or four max) after I receive communion before we have to get out of there for the next Mass.

And even if I tried, it would be impossible to maintain a host in my mouth long enough for there to be anything left to spit out by the time I got outside.

Far-fetched details.

Paul said...

I can't see any reason why it couldn't be true, and I suspect it is true. In any case it's about time priests started cracking down on disrespect in mass. They could start by forbidding people to check their cell phones during consecration (I saw that happen in the pew in front of me last Sunday morning).

Not far-fetched at all.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

I support that courageous priest fully. God bless him!

Anonymous said...

God bless the priest for doing his duty. We need more priests to stand up like this---so that Holy Communion is not taken so lightly. If the woman wanted a reason for denial of communion--why did she not wait for the priest's explanation?

Joseph Therese said...

I fully support the priest :)

Anonymous said...

Paul, I agree with what you said,


the fact remains that the accidental properties of the host cause it to dissolve rapidly on the tongue, and you did not address this point when you said "not far-fetched at all".

Considering this is the specific thing I said was far-fetched, it would have been appropriate to address it before denying it.

Anonymous said...

Something doesn't sound right here unless, of course, the mother and daughter had left Mass right after communion as they did the following week. However, from personal experience, I do agree that we need to address the issue of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament as there have been occasions when consecrated hosts have been found in the pew (wrapped in a tissue!), on the floor, or elsewhere.
In the case stated, however, I'm not sure that it was proper to deny the mother and daughter Holy Communion. First, there's no evidence that the mother had desecrated the Eucharist or that she was aware of what her daughter had allegedly done. If they were known to the priest, and I would have to believe they were since he knew to whom to deny the sacrament, he should have contacted them before Mass to clarify the situation.
I think the priest was guilty of rash judgement in this case.

MarylandCatholic said...

I think there's a whole lot more to the story (and a bit of presumption on both sides). Did the priest act on heresay alone? If so, then there's a possibility of mis-identifying the person and what was spit out. Did he actually see (and verify that it wasn't gum) the Host in the parking lot? Did he see the girl spit it out himself? Even if he did, there's a possibility that they went to confession after that Mass. The Host does disolve pretty quickly, which would be from the time it takes to receive it, to the time you sit back in the pew, unless the daughter put it in her pocket and the mother told her to consume it when they were outside.

Like the above anonymous poster, I think both sides rushed to judgement.

GW said...

PLEASE.......... have that priest transferred to Nancy Pelosi's parish in the Bay Area!

William said...

I won't disagree that there may be more to the story, but my immediate impression is to side with the priest. I think it's giving the mother too much credit to believe that she didn't have her daughter pocket the Eucharist, and then her daughter, not knowing any better, tossed it away after Mass because it tastes "Yucky" and she didn't want it.

After all, look at her quote: "He's not God!" That's not the statement made of a faithful Catholic suffering a misunderstanding. That's much more likely a woman who is scandalously misinformed about her faith.

Anonymous said...

Why did not the priest contact the family during the week, perhaps by phone to arrange a meeting so they could speak about this matter before calling the Sheriff?

TerentiaJ said...

The Host may dissolve immediately under the right circumstances but it is possible to prevent that from happening. I recently saw a jr high aged boy come back from receiving. He was putting the Host in his mouth, then taking it out again repeatedly. He then stuck out his tongue and allowed the Host to hang from the tip while he wiggled his tongue around and rolled his eyes. He got into the pew behind me and, as kindly as I could, I leaned over to him and told him, "That is our Lord and Savior you have in your mouth, please treat Him with the respect He deserves." The kid just looked at me and swallowed the Host. I did tell the priest after Mass.

Anonymous said...

I have been to many parishes over my lifetime and I know that not all of the hosts are created equal; some just don't dissolve as quickly as others. The ones made with white flour do not dissolve as quickly as those made with unbleached or wheat flour.

Feryl said...

In any case, the priest acted as his duty requires of him if he did believe that the Eucharist had been profaned. Eucharistic desecration is an extremely serious offense and deserves to be handled with the utmost respect and caution.

Absalom said...

I live in the northern portion of the Santa Rosa diocese.

I find this story rather un-beliavable, in the sense that I do not accept the facts as provided.

I do not believe anywhere in this diocese is a priest who would show such respect for the Eucharist. Further, I can not imagine any situation where our Bishop would ever act with anything resembling this type of courage, fortitude, or manliness.

Color me skeptical. Until shown otherwise, I do not believe such a priest resides within this diocese.

Anonymous said...

You might read the strand, particularly Maria above.

Mother of a seminarian said...

For those who believe this may NOT be true because The Body of Our Lord would have dissolved, what you are failing to see is that we are asked not to chew the Body of Our Lord for fear that remnants may get lodged in our teeth and come in contact with foreign matter later to desecrate it. Also, if you've noticed communion distributed PROPERLY, the priest and extraordinary ministers are to keep their two fingers together after distribution, when they will dip those two fingers in the water, so not one piece of Our Precious Lord end up on the floor. This is why we purify vessels of the Precious Blood and properly launder altar linens after each Mass. God bless Father Kelly!! I'm glad to see a priest on fire to defend Our Lord!

Maria said...

There is much more to the story. I am a member of this parish and I give kudos to Fr. Kelly for not speaking to the media to give his side...to simply stand up for the Eucharist and not try to save face as he is being ripped to shreds on the comment sections of the local news outlets.

This happened after witnessing several incidents and having the ushers be his "eyes and ears" in the congregation. There is much more to the story than what is being reported.

Fr. Kelly is a wonderful priest.

Anonymous said...

Father Kelley for Bishop! We need more Priests like this!

Anonymous said...

I just don't see how it could be true. I usually don't do anything to make the host disintegrate in my mouth—I just let it sit there—and it's usually gone in less than two minutes.

Like half the communicants.

Lizzy Leigh said...

You people are missing something here...if they were denied communion, where did she get the host to "spit out" in the first place?

Anonymous said...

It's good to see the Church in the news for something other than those silly child sex abuse accusations. How many times do they have to sweep those accusations under the rug before petty people stop wasting their time? It's good to see a priest that is going after important matters!

Anonymous said...

@Lizzy Leigh:

The daughter was seen spitting the host out in the parking lot.

The next time they were at Mass, they were denied communion.

And, in response to the story, Go Fr. Kelly!

Anonymous said...

Praise Fr. Kelly for upholding the requirements of the Holy Eucharist! I doubt he acted unjustly when denying Communion to mother and daughter. Perhaps every details has not been delivered to the public, but enough has! It would appear both mother and child need re-educating in matters of the Eucharist. For Catholics, once the host is consecrated it becomes the body/blood of Jesus Christ, Second Person of the Holy Trinity. To not consume it, to play with it, or spit it out is desecration. Anyone who knowingly does such a thing, should be denied the Sacrament. This woman and child owe Fr. Kelly an apology, as apparently does the local press! But more than that, they need to rectify this issue with the priest, and be forgiven.

Eli said...

The more I think about this, the more it bothers me. Here's what gets me:

1) The daughter was accused of a grievous sin without due verification.
2) The incident was the previous week but the priest did not communicate with the family during that week to clarify and resolve the issue, or at least inform them they were "persona non grata" at the church.
3) When the mother left early, the priest called the police. The police? Really? Who does he think he is, and why does he think it's a good idea to drag the law into an issue that's his duty to resolve?
4) All the commenters here that think he's a brave and persecuted man for doing that.

Note that I'm not in any way undermining the duty of the church to preserve the Eucharist. I do have a problem with the power trip of calling the police when a US citizen dared leave his property before he was done with her.

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