"I read Tony Begonja's book as a favor, and I came away as the one favored...I can hope for the day when the faithful bring their own bread to the altar to be blessed, broken and shared!"
Sr. Lea A. Hunter, D.Min., author
"Tony Begonja has provided a helpful, practical book that ... suggests that bread-baking can be properly understood as an important ministry within the Church."
Rev. Richard Reiser, Pastor, St. John's Church, Clearwater, Nebraska
REVIEW FROM PASTORAL MUSIC NOTEBOOK January 1992, "FOOTNOTES" by Paul Covino.
In these "Ordinary" winter weeks pastoral musicians, liturgists, and clergy often direct their minds to preparing for Lent and the Triduum. So we look at one book on penance to stimulate Lenten thinking and another on eucharistic bread, as we look ahead to Holy Thursday.
Holy Thursday's focus on the eucharistic meal raises once again the issue of the bread used at the eucharist. Few parishes have had enduring success with developing a eucharistic bread that both looks like food (see GIRM # 283) and is limited to the Roman Catholic Church's current approved recipe: wheat flour and water. As a catechist once joked: "It's easier for kids to believe the host is the Body of Christ than it is for them to believe that it's bread!"
Eucharistic Bread-Baking As Ministry (Resource Publications, 1991, 110 pages, $7.95) by Tony Begonja provides both background information and recipes to assist parishes in providing "real bread" for the eucharist. The seven recipes (some of which have appeared before) including one using only flour and water and one from the Greek and Eastern Rite churches. Beyond the recipies, though, Begonja offers good practical information for parishioners willing to put their baking talents to work for the assembly. It's certainly worth a try this Holy Thursday, if not weekly.
Paul Covino is book review editor for Pastoral Music magazine, which is published by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM).
Altar Breads: Past and Present
Qualities of Good Altar Bread
Baking Good Altar Bread
Fran's Wheat-and-Perrier Bread
Wheat-and-Water Only Bread
St. Gregory's Abbey Altar Bread
Greek Orthodox / Eastern Rites Bread
Wrapping and Storing Altar Bread
Vestry / Sacristy Particulars
Introducing Parishioners to Baked Bread
Altar Breads in the Future
Unfortunately, EBBM went "out of print" around May 2000. Resource Publications made the decision to not simply print another thousand copies (the initial run was 3,000).
I haven't found my stash of 10 or 12 copies yet.
I am evaluating my options about how to get the book back into print. Resource has asked me to consider submitting a major update to the book, but even when I complete it, it will still take time to get the revised manuscript into print -- probably at least two years from now. I am considering a number of self-publish options. When I decide, I'll post that information here.
If you'd like to contact me in writing (snail-mail), the address is:
[The Rev.] Tony Begonja
PO Box 451342
Garland, Texas 75045-1342 USA
and, if you'd like to call, my phone is 214.566.3936.