A woman carries products at a state-run supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela, June 4. Sporadic shortages of basic goods in the country can turn a roll of toilet paper into a rare commodity. Clergy and religious are worried about running low on altar wine and wheat to make hosts.

CNS PHOTO | JORGE SILVA, REUTERS

A woman carries products at a state-run supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela, June 4. Sporadic shortages of basic goods in the country can turn a roll of toilet paper into a rare commodity. Clergy and religious are worried about running low on altar wine and wheat to make hosts.

June 17, 2013

In his small parish outside of Venezuela's capital, Caracas, Father Maximo Mateos is filling his chalice with less than half the amount of wine he formerly used.

The priests at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Caracas are precariously close to running out of sacramental wine.

And for the Sisters of the Adoration, finding good wheat flour to make Communion wafers is becoming harder and more expensive.

In Venezuela, sporadic shortages of basic goods can turn a roll of toilet paper into a rare commodity; add bread and wine to the list of scarce products.

Catholic leaders in the South American country have advised priests to conserve what supplies they have as they search for an alternative supply to ease the shortage.

In the publication La Iglesia Ahora, three bishops said there is an "extreme need" for supplies of wine.