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  #1  
Old Mar 4, '11, 9:19 pm
utah rose utah rose is offline
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Default Friday Fish Fries at Church

How does everyone feel about Friday Fish fries at Church during Lent?

We have them almost every week during Lent, and it seems to me the ones we have are worthy of an expensive meal at a restaurant. We have fried fish, coleslaw, fries and rolls with a beverage.

I realize that the profits go to our Church, and our cooked by our Knights of Columbus, but I wondered if this is really an appropriate thing.

It seems to me that when we are supposed to abstain from meat and perhaps eat fish, we shouldn't go to the extreme of maybe a better dinner than we could fix at home, rather than eating simply. To me this isn't a sacrifice, but maybe I'm a little prejudiced as I grew up pre Vatican !! and then things were much stricter.

I should add, that afterwords Stations of the Cross are said and then Bingo!

Bingo I think should be suspended during Lent. I think if our Church needs more money, people should be encouraged to give a little extra for Lent. What do your parishes or diocese do?
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  #2  
Old Mar 4, '11, 9:42 pm
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Oneofthewomen Oneofthewomen is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

I tend to agree with you about the whole "Friday Fish Fry" concept.

I am a chef, and in my region of the country
every bar/restaurant/pizza shop has a version,
which is usually 2-3 times the size of a recommended serving.

I do understand the need to raise money,but...
it seems to me that this is "pushing the envelope", so to speak.

I have always wanted to have a simple soup supper w/ a free-will offering
followed by the Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent, but I could never get enough help to get anything organized, even though I had the support of the pastor.

And the thing that makes me the saddest is the attitude of the people who I asked ot help-
"You mean spend our Friday night at Chruch?
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  #3  
Old Mar 4, '11, 9:56 pm
StrawberryJam StrawberryJam is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneofthewomen View Post
I tend to agree with you about the whole "Friday Fish Fry" concept.

I am a chef, and in my region of the country
every bar/restaurant/pizza shop has a version,
which is usually 2-3 times the size of a recommended serving.

I do understand the need to raise money,but...
it seems to me that this is "pushing the envelope", so to speak.

I have always wanted to have a simple soup supper w/ a free-will offering
followed by the Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent, but I could never get enough help to get anything organized, even though I had the support of the pastor.

And the thing that makes me the saddest is the attitude of the people who I asked ot help-
"You mean spend our Friday night at Chruch?
I like your idea and would support it and do what I could to raise funds for it. I like the concept, KIS (Keep it Simple) and I like how it is perfect for a large group of people to make happen.

Don't most people want to shed some pounds about now anyway with or without Lent? You may even get a person like me to come in and help you out with serving everyone.

I don't understand the reluctance to be there on a Friday night especially when that is the day I am told Jesus was on the Cross. That should be a big day for catholics to be feeling like going to church. Right?
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  #4  
Old Mar 4, '11, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

If it feels like a luxury to you, and doesn't feel right for Lent, I'd skip the parish dinner. You can always donate some cash for whichever fund-raising cause.

Some of us find those fried fish dinners a real trial, though. I would not voluntarily choose to go, unless I had no food to eat, or some act of love required it. I would rather eat at home, even if there is only some good bread, butter, and water.
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  #5  
Old Mar 4, '11, 10:22 pm
2Rollin'Stoned 2Rollin'Stoned is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

Love it! Wouldn't trade it for the world! One of the best things about being a Catholic during Lent.

I love the time I get to spend with other Catholics just getting to know them and sharing with them and I like that the proceeds go to help the Knights do some of the great things they do...most of which people rarely hear about.
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  #6  
Old Mar 4, '11, 10:30 pm
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baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

Everybody is at a different stage in his spiritual journey. Some are ready to live a real spirit of sacrifice during Lent and some are just getting the idea that Friday is not steak night. Some are helped by withdrawing into quiet prayer and others need to have companionship. Friday Fish Fries meet the needs of those who need companionship and a reminder not to eat meat. They reinforce Catholic identity for some.

It might be helpful to those with more pentitential preferences to work at these events without partaking. Or to bring family members and friends who are less advanced than they are and eat lightly of their own dinner (and bring a container for leftovers).

What is not helpful is to stand to the side and cluck one's tongue about how wrong the gatherings are and how much above it all a person is. The Church is wise to meet people where they are. Let's do what we can to help. Maybe the people who chow down this year will be asking for Stations of the Cross next year.
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  #7  
Old Mar 4, '11, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

In case if my point was not clear above, not everyone who is there is finding it a luxury or even enjoyable. Some people may find it a real trial to be there. It would be a mistake to think that those who are there are not penitential. Also, many people who are there are there as an act of charity for someone else.
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  #8  
Old Mar 4, '11, 11:58 pm
StrawberryJam StrawberryJam is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pug View Post
In case if my point was not clear above, not everyone who is there is finding it a luxury or even enjoyable. Some people may find it a real trial to be there. It would be a mistake to think that those who are there are not penitential. Also, many people who are there are there as an act of charity for someone else.
I wish you would not have opened up that door. Could that someone else be a priest and his legal defense team?

Edit to add: I know of families that need help now. Even in our area.
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  #9  
Old Mar 5, '11, 3:17 am
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odile53 odile53 is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

Well, if these are your thoughts, don't go, and just put something extra in the collection if the Church is doing this to raise money. Most Lenten disciplines are pretty much private disciplines. I'm of the thought that a positive action (such as more time spent in prayer, study, reflection, or performing good works) is more spiritually edifying that a negative discipline (giving up something for Lent) anyways.

I fall into the "I love Lent church fish fries" camp, and they provide me Christian fellowship after a long hard week at work. There's no Bingo during Lent at my parish, and Stations of the Cross precedes the fish fry.

Please don't take my fish fries away!
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  #10  
Old Mar 5, '11, 4:50 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

you would disappoint a lot of Winter Texans, Catholic or not, who count on Friday Fish Fries as one of our chief sources of entertainment! Srsly income from these events funds many a CCD program for the year and other ministries and is a significant portion of many parish budget. For my money it beats bingo (run as a fundraiser, not a social event). you know my stance on tithing, but having Fish Fries and other socials, pot-lucks etc. is not just about food, but about community building as well. Recall that monastics eat in common even when their meals are more meager due to fast and abstinence, for that reason. Also preparing the food for the common meal is, according to St. Benedict, analagous to service at the altar.

All meals prepared and eaten together by Christians also have a Eucharistic dimension that should not be overlooked.

In short it is not so much about the food, as about the meal.
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  #11  
Old Mar 5, '11, 9:26 am
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberryJam View Post
I wish you would not have opened up that door. Could that someone else be a priest and his legal defense team?

Edit to add: I know of families that need help now. Even in our area.
I don't think I meant it the way you took it, but perhaps I'm wrong. Let me clarify. I wasn't thinking of priests at all, nor was I thinking of the point of the event, like "it is for raising money for the school". I was thinking only of correcting the idea that the people in attendance are the nonspiritual, the unpenitential, the beginners, or people who are oblivious to the spirit of Lent.

Perhaps elderly Auntie M feels she must be there because when she was young this is how one observed Lent faithfully and it is important to her to be faithful, and her eight family members who are there with her are only there out of deference to the preference or needs of another. Submitting cheerfully to something that will help an elderly relative is an act of love for their aunt. An act of love is penitential. There is no reason to assume those family members are spiritual beginners, with no concept of the penitential. Plus, they feed the homeless better in soup kitchens than they feed parishioners at a fish fry (chips as part of a meal?). Many people do not voluntarily eat "food" like a fish fry.
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  #12  
Old Mar 5, '11, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

As a Knight of Columbus and the Grand Knight of my council, I have to say that the Lenten fish fry is something that all of us Knights look forward to. We started ours about 5 years ago doing one Friday during Lent at one of our parish's and it started out pretty poorly attended, as was the Stations of the Cross. But now, that one Lenten Friday is booming and we expect to feed about 150 parishoners, all of whom will go to the Stations afterwards. I am quite edified by that! Many of these folks would not go to the Stations without the fish fry. It brings people together and they can now make a night of it and it has created the fellowship that many Catholics think are missing from their Church lives.

Please, don't look to deeply into why parish's have a fish fry during Lent, just look at it as a helpful way to get people to do one of the oldest devotions in the Church...
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  #13  
Old Mar 6, '11, 5:51 am
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

Utah Rose, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who brought this up this Lent. I will say that I think you worded your OP a little better than I did in my thread on the topic because there seems to be less confusion about what you're saying than what I tried to say (which is basically the same thing concerning how fish fries fit into Lent). Anyway, I tend to agree with what most people have said here. If for some of us this seems like a luxury or perhaps only lukewarm spiritually (i.e. Stations of the Cross followed by bingo) then we have the ability to abstain from this while letting others who benefit from it to go without passing judgment. I'm still torn on whether I'll participate in this custom this Lent since on the one hand I can see its benefits (especially bringing together the local Catholic community and helping to support local parishes or Catholic organizations) but on the other hand it seems like splitting hairs to me and also a bit unrelated to the season. I should also say that I love a good fish fry, so getting to eat one every Friday is far from a sacrifice for me.
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  #14  
Old Mar 6, '11, 11:06 am
Beachcomber Beachcomber is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

My parish has had a Friday Fish Fry for close onto 20 years now and it's put on by the Italian Catholic group. A couple years ago they began to offer grilled and baked fish in addition to the fried fish. They got even more people to come with the lighter alternatives. They also offer take-out!

I think it's kind of fun and the money goes to parish projects.
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  #15  
Old Mar 6, '11, 12:00 pm
josephdaniel29 josephdaniel29 is offline
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Default Re: Friday Fish Fries at Church

I don't really see how eating a rich, delicious fried fish dinner is in the spirit of abstinence.

That being said many of the posters are right - love is always higher than fasting. If it brings people together in fellowship that may not otherwise participate then it can't be all bad.
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