by Lisa Monti, Willard Deal, Cathy Lawson and Tina Richardson
- This month - If you feel the need to pretend that eating seafood on Fridays during Lent is a hardship, please do. Otherwise, let’s just be grateful for an abundance of fish and other local seafood to keep us faithful and fed.
Every Friday during Lent starting Feb. 20, volunteers at local Catholic churches - bless their hearts - prepare a delicious lunch or dinner, with the option to dine in or carry out. What could be more convenient? Check our Community Calendar for more details!
On opening Friday, St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church volunteers worked in a well organized pattern of taking lunch orders, frying fish, filling styrofoam plates and matching customers with their meals.
There was a tiny wait when friends and I placed our orders but it was well worth it when we got our piping hot catfish, sides and dessert. The four pieces of catfish were crunchy and so well seasoned I skipped the ketchup and dipped into the tarter sauce only lightly. The potato salad was creamy and the green beans were tasty, too. (The cake came home with me for a mid-afternoon snack.) All that, including a canned drink or bottled water, for an $8 donation.
The St. Rose fish fry is held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Holy Spirit Center at 301 South Necaise Ave. Delivery is available with 10 or more orders. Call 228-467-9700.
From Tina Richardson, who volunteers with the OLG team. She suspects by the number of dinners sold this past Friday at the four churches mentioned here, that about 10% of Bay-Waveland residents partook of Lenten fish this week!
At Our Lady of the Gulf, intrepid cookers sit outside in the cold frying up batches of catfish and hushpuppies. Frank Ladner and a large crew of volunteers are frying and baking and serving catfish, green beans, hushpuppies, cabbage slaw, a beverage and cake to raise funds in support of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
The OLG conference of St. Vincent de Paul is composed of three parishes: Our Lady of the Gulf, St. Clare and St. Rose de Lima. The Society helps residents of Hancock County who are in need, so fundraisers like the fish fry at Our Lady of the Gulf are an appropriate activity for the Lent.
Enjoy yours from 4:30 - 7:30pm for $10!
Will Deal is a return customer at St. Ann’s in Clermont Harbor. Here’s his report:
Lenten fish fry dinners at St. Ann Catholic Church, situated on Lower Bay Road in Clermont Harbor, began just about six months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed Parish buildings, along with most church member’s homes. The first year, dinners were fixed outside on propane grills and cookers, but then that’s the way most people fixed meals in those days. Today dinner is prepared in a modern kitchen and is for dine in or take out from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays between Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. Plate dinners cost $8, with desserts and drinks available at an additional cost. Proceeds from this event go of offset Parish insurance costs, something we all wish we could for our own homes!
Diane Staszak coordinates this this event and dispenses desserts. Dinner always includes fried fish, coleslaw, hush puppies and bread, with homemade potato salad or mac and cheese while it lasts. Fries are available when those are gone. Dessert selection depends on the specialties of the many folks who bring these items. Depending on the weather, somewhere around 70 to 120 meals are dispensed each Friday evening. Many parishioners help with dinner, with the men taking over the kitchen while the several ladies greet friends and sell tickets at the door. On the night of my visit, these women of the church represented a combined 24 years of experience at this task.
It was Cathy Lawson's first visit to St. Clare:
St. Clare is on a Lenten journey as a parish group moving together the next 40 days toward Easter. And each Friday the whole parish works together to host a Lenten Fish Fry at the church from 5 to 7. Fried fish and Shrimp plates, $10, Oysters and combo, $12. Includes two sides, beverages and desserts available.
The church did these fish fry events annually before Hurricane Katrina but have just now resumed them in the past four years since they have been in their new building. The funds raised from the dinners goes into a general fund to support St. Clare and its activities.