Beef, Beer and Catholic fundraisers

Hello all. I have an unusual question. Many of the Catholic churches around where I live host Beef and Beer fundraisers for families in need of help, and I have even seen published in our parishes bulletin that there “will be various beers available” at the function. As a Protestant and having gone to a Protestant church all my life, a church sponsored Beef and Beer fundraiser would NEVER happen. Personally, I don’t think drinking beer is a sin, but it just seems really odd a church would sponsor such an event. Is this kind of fundraiser common in Catholic Churches?

Catholics are well-known for there enjoyment of refreshments.

It is “refreshing to excess” that is considered sinful.

And besides, is it any different than a police association sponsoring a gun show? :shrug:

If I had five bucks for every brisket I’ve smoked for a parish fundraiser (or the refreshments I’ve consumed) I could retire…oops, I AM retired (allegedly) :smiley:

And lemme tell ya’ it takes good lungs and lots of rolling papers to smoke all them briskets. :thumbsup:

In my experience, if a parish has had problems with drunkenness at such events, that type of event is usually pulled, and should be. In my experience, though, you really don’t see that. I’ve seen problems at weddings, but not really at parish fundraisers.

There’s a poem by Hillare Belloc (I think)

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s laughter, singing, and good red wine.
At least, I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino.

And there was an old manual for priests called ‘the Book of Blessings’ which contained a blessing for beer among other things :highprayer: As with all food and drink, beer is a gift of God and is good, as are all things He created, if not abused.

Remember Jesus was accused of being a drunkard, so obviously enjoyed the occasional drop or two or more. Didn’t he make 120 gallons of alcohol for a doubtless already merry crowd at the Wedding at Cana? - and not just wine but good quality wine.

And remember Paul telling Timothy to have the occasional drink for his health (which ancient wisdom doctors have rediscovered in recent decades).

That is a very ill-chosen moniker. “BBQ” works just as well.

That said there is absolutely nothing wrong with adults consuming alcohol in responsible amounts. Some Protestant try to display misplaced piety on this one and it looks more foolish then anything else.

We had a big chili feed at my eastern parish a while back. Someone brought a 12-pack and another parishioner went nutso saying the bishop said we could not consume beer on the grounds. That was a bunch of malarkey as we regularly have wine at our socials. I told the guy to back off and some enjoyed a beer with their chili. I asked the pastor about it locally, he rolled his eyes and said anyone that would say such a thing likely came to us from a Protestant tradition.

“I drink beer whenever I can get my hands on any. I love beer, and by that very fact, the world.” – Fr. Thomas Merton, OCSO

I like the quote from Benjamin Franklin - ‘beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy’. :smiley:

Some of the best beers and wines in the world are produced in monasteries and convents.

As well as some of the finest liqueurs – Benedictine (first been developed by Dom Bernardo Vincelli in 1510,) and Chartreuse (currently by the Carthusian monks in France).

I have read that whiskey was invented by Irish monks trying to find a substitute for grapes in their distillation endeavours, and using the local corn.

And the world’s first truly sparkling champagne was produced by a monk: Dom Perignon.

The only admonition the Good Book gives against drinking is not to be a drunkard.

By the by, I’d love to have tried Jesus’ homebrew at Cana.:thumbsup:

I have read that whiskey was invented by Irish monks trying to find a substitute for grapes in their distillation endeavours, and using the local corn.

Actually, I think the pre-Christian Romans referred to Irish whiskey–but that didn’t stop monks from continuing the tradition.

There ya go…Roman *and *Catholic! :thumbsup:

Thank you all for your answers!! They were very enlightening!!

:thumbsup: My sentiments exactly! Mmmmmm, beer! :smiley:

Or in true Knights of Columbus tradition (immortalized by Saturday Night Live)…

Old Business

New Business

Meeting Adjourned, Open the Bar…


We have entire parish festivals of great notoriety here in Louisiana organized around food and beer and wine. I’d quote Belloc but the good Bishop beat me to it. Hey! The Episcopalians do it too down here.

I realize that I am in the extreme minority here. I am guessing that there is no one else on CAF, out of all the thousands of members, who will agree with me or even have empathy for my POV.

But I hope that you will allow me to be a voice of dissention.

Alcohol is a drug, not a food.

And I am personally very put off by the attitude that many of you have against “Protestants” who choose to abstain. If you look at the health of various groups who practice abstinence from alcohol (various medical studies have been done), you will see a very healthy group of people who do not suffer from the syndromes and diseases linked with alcohol.

You will also find that none of the abstainers are suffering from the active disease of alcoholism–always a risk for those who choose to use the drug of alcohol. (I agree that many abstainers are alcoholics, but thank God they have never given the drug a chance, so they do not suffer active alcoholism.)

Why do you disparage people who choose, in this area at least, to live a healthy lifestyle? More power to them! At the very least, you should accept their decision and stop smirking about how “enlightened” and “superior” and “Christian” you are. Jesus did a lot of things, didn’t He? When you do all of the things that Jesus did, then you can pontificate about how you “drink just like Jesus did.”

If no one drank alcohol, no one would die in alcohol-related crashes. BTW, it’s usually the innocent person who dies in these crashes, not the one who has been drinking. **And a person does not have to be visibly “drunk” to be driving-impaired. ** The Catechism states that it is a mortal sin to speed–could it not be a mortal sin to consume a powerful drug that has the potential to alter brain activity, and then get behind the wheel of a two-ton vehicle?

It is my opinion that a church who offers alcohol at church related events is taking a dreadful chance. There are people–alcoholics in the throes of the disease–who are extremely crafty at consuming enough alcohol to be impaired, even though they don’t show it. Surely God will hold the church responsible if these people kill someone on the highway after the BB fundraiser, or if the person goes home and abuses his/her spouse and children, or goes to work and makes an error of judgement that puts other in danger or misery, or even if the person goes home after the BB and falls asleep on the sofa in a stupor instead of making love to his/her spouse.

And I hate seeing what it does to people. I work in a hospital, and it’s very sad to see how many hundreds, thousands of people have wrecked their lives and will die an early, screamingly-painful death for the sake of a Bud or a glass of Merlot.

Misuse of alcohol wrecks homes, breaks up marriages, causes children to reject their parents, is a factor in date rapes, causes children to fail or drop out of school, and according to some sources, may lead children to feeling comfortable trying harder drugs. **Again, I repeat that people who never consume alcohol will never misuse alcohol, will they? **

A minor point, but alcohol is also a major factor in weight gain, especially in men, and especially in the gain of abdominal fat. The high glycemic index of beer makes it especially unhealthy for those who struggle with weight issues.

Finally, as an ex-Protestant, I can assure you that many Protestants dismiss the Catholic Church as devilish and pagan because of the tolerance of alcohol. I realize that the Catholic Church is not going to declare something that they consider good “evil.” But I think it would be a good thing for parishes to avoid throwing stumbling boulders in the face of the Protestants in their city. If you have the choice between helping a soul come home to the Catholic Church and quaffing a pint, would you really choose the liquor over the soul?

You think I’m being simplistic about Protestant rejection of Catholicism–I am not. The major stumbling block that caused me to hesitate about converting to Catholicism was ALCOHOL. I could not reconcile how the Church of Christ could tolerate a drug that has such a terrible record of destruction and death in human history. I still have a very hard time with it. I don’t attend the large parish socials at either of my two parishes because of the alcohol use. I don’t care if the people aren’t getting drunk (supposedly–I’ll believe that when you tell me that Oprah is voting for McCain!) The smell of liquor makes me gag.

As for missing out on the “gusto,” I say bah. I don’t need a stinkin’ glass of fermented grain to be happy.

My husband and I have done a lot of thinking about why we don’t have a huge list of friends and why we don’t socialize a lot. We’ve come to the conclusion that it’s mainly because of alcohol.

It is really sad since we converted to Catholicism. At least in the evangelical Protestant church, almost everyone else abstained, and so we had a lot of friends and often got together for dinners, picnics, or just going out for a Coke or ice cream with church pals. Now all those church pals don’t associate with “Catholics” like us. But many of the Catholics that we know consider a social “unsociable” if there is no liquor.

So we are alone a lot. It’s really fun to live in this beautiful Catholic castle and wander around alone, but to be honest, we won’t change our abstinent ways. I would rather be alone than associate with those who label me “Protestant” because I choose not to use the drug of alcohol.

I guess that’s why there’s an Internet, right?

Oh, Cat! I understand your sympathies but did you read that poem by Belloc? Do you honestly think that your values would be appreciated here in south Louisiana? We have choir dinners and parties throughout the year. Nobody gets smashed but we do enjoy a glass of “good red wine”. We are not northern Europeans here. We are French, Spanish, and Italian (well, I’m Irish and have been known to quaff a glass of ouisquebah)…It’s normal for us.

My cathedral parish has fundraisers. The KCs from our parish and the KCs from another local parish have this huge BBQ pit on wheels. We have BBQ and beer on the church grounds. No one is running around getting plastered.

It’s a cultural thing. I grew up with being given a small dollop of wine at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years (or weddings, etc). as a child. I didn’t go “nuts” in the Navy because I was 18 - anymore than I go “nuts” at choir parties or parish festivals.

To be honest with you, I was more concerned about the guys who were oggling the 8th grade girls at my sons’ parish festival years ago. DW had to restrain me.

brotherhrolf, I don’t expect that ANYONE in ANY section of the world will appreciate my values when it comes to liquor!

I’m a realist, and I know that what I am saying is “fightin’ words” to many people, not just Catholics.

My whole family was alcohol-abstinent for as many generations back as I can find, so we all know what it means to swim against the tide.

My two daughters use alcohol. I wish they wouldn’t, and I won’t pay for any of it (we didn’t pay for an open bar at my daughter’s wedding a few weeks ago, and we wouldn’t pay for a champagne toast, and we wouldn’t join in the champagne toast). We won’t allow alcohol in our house. But my daughters are still very welcome, and they don’t seem to mind that their parents are alcohol-free! They respect our POV. As to whether we respect their POV–well–I’ll wait and see what happens in their lives. I hope and pray that they are among the people who can use alcohol without misusing or abusing it.

I find this interesting. I am a recovering alchoholic-havent had a drink in 23 years yet i have lots of friends. How would you not drinking limit your friends?

I don’t meant to sound harsh on this, but I would suspect it has mnore to do with the holier than thou attitude expressed. I have no problem with anyone who chooses to not drink, but I do have a problem with those who see my having the occasional beer or wine as me using drugs. The abuse of alcohol is a problem yes, but the normal use of it is not.:shrug:

And CAT, yes beer and other beverages DO have food value…especially a good Irish Stout!!!mmmmmmmm:thumbsup:

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