The Archdiocese of Hartford is investigating a possible eucharistic miracle at one of its parishes, where Communion hosts seemingly multiplied during a Mass March 5.
Father Joseph Crowley, pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Thomaston, Connecticut, said in a YouTube livestream of his March 12 homily that an unnamed extraordinary minister of the Eucharist at the previous week’s liturgy had begun to run out of Communion hosts — only to find that “all of a sudden there (were) more hosts in the ciborium.” The St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish is comprised of three church locations — St. Thomas, Immaculate Conception and St. Casimir — and the alleged multiplication of Communion hosts took place at St. Thomas.
The minister continued to distribute the hosts to some “100, 150 people in the congregation,” after which “there was the same amount, if not more hosts” in the ciborium, said Father Crowley, who had celebrated the March 5 liturgy. “What happened is Our Lord multiplied Himself. … I have no doubt. I know what I gave the person. I know what (was) returned (to the tabernacle). It was just very obvious and plain to me as to what happened.”
Father Crowley said in his March 12 homily he wanted to tell parishioners “from the horse’s mouth as to exactly what happened,” and “stick to the facts” to avoid confusion.
In a livestream video of his post-Communion remarks at the March 5 liturgy at St. Thomas, a visibly struck Father Crowley said the experience was “very powerful, very awesome, very real, very shocking.”
David Elliott, associate director of communications for the Archdiocese of Hartford, said that the archdiocesan judicial vicar, Father George S. Mukuka, “has been looking into the possibility of a eucharistic miracle” at the parish.
Following the investigation, the judicial vicar will prepare a report for Hartford Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, “who will make a determination from there” regarding the event’s supernatural nature, said Elliott.
Several of the seemingly multiplied hosts had been distributed at daily Mass March 6 and 7, with others kept in reserve as the archdiocesan investigation is still underway, said Father Crowley in his March 12 homily.
He said that the incident — which he described as “one of those moments where God showed up in a very powerful, powerful way” — had stunned him.
At the same time, “the real miracle is the fact that we’re able to take simple bread and wine, and through the prayers of the Church, through the hands of the priest, Christ is made present through transubstantiation,” said Father Crowley. “Our Lord then becomes the flesh and blood hidden under the mere presence of bread and wine.”
Through the apparent multiplication of hosts, “Our Lord gave us one of the best moments of reflection this Lent about Himself, about the Eucharist,” said Father Crowley.
A local saint in the making also may have played a role, Father Crowley said, since Blessed Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, served as pastor of St. Thomas Church from 1884 until his death in 1890.
“I think in a very profound way that … because of Blessed McGivney’s life here … it shows that this is a very special place. And it’s important to God,” said Father Crowley. “And I think good things are coming. I think great things are coming.”