Thursday, July 18, 2013

On Summer Fish Fries and Friday Abstinence

It's parish picnic season again!

I noticed that Guardian Angels, the local parish that has a TLM most weekday mornings, has a fish fry on Friday night as part of the festivities. Other parishes seem to serve fish on Friday as well (not a scientific survey or anything, just a quick observation). I know Fr. Leger- the pastor there- knows that Friday abstinence is still the norm, and that most of us don't substitute another penance in exchange for eating meat on non-Lenten Fridays. Hence, he's helping folks out.

Another local parish-St. Michael's in Jeffersontown- is serving brats, burgers, and hot dogs on both nights but fish on Saturday night. Excusez-moi? Je ne comprends pas bien!

I realize that some parishes have a fish fry because the sandwiches are pretty good around here (it never ceases to amaze me that I have had awesome fried cod each time here in Louisville, but the seafood is terrible where we have lived and often where we have visited if it is near the ocean...) and thus they are big sellers. But, I suspect that it's a holdover from the days of mandatory abstinence.

 In England and Wales they have returned to Friday abstinence. Christendom College does not serve meat on Fridays, and in the Diocese of Steubenville in reparation for the gross and heinous destruction of human life, the Bishop has asked that abstinence be practiced. Hence, Franciscan University makes an extra effort to have meatless options for those of us who usually eat meat. BRING IT BACK. We are in a time that demands penance of the flesh.

The Church Teaches Forum always offers fish alongside beef for the dinner served Friday night. I loved the pot roast at the hotel, but honestly, just serve fish. There are so many people who abstain regularly on Fridays at that event. A salmon and a lighter option like mahi would be sufficient, or even fried butterfly shrimp would work for those of us who are less inclined to seafood. I was one of those the first year (hence the pot roast) but I know I am not alone in being hesitant towards consuming fish... This year they also served a pasta dish (rolled lasanga noodles with cheese. It was OK.).

They ran out of salmon! Are you kidding me?? I couldn't believe it: how does a high-end hotel kitchen run out of food that was purchased in advance through ticket sales. They nearly ran out of pasta for the poor lady from my parish, who wanted a box for the beef to eat on Saturday (ROTFL. Good answer! The waitstaff was so confused!). They scrounged up a piece, but some people ate (wait for it) chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese. Look y'all, I like that. I am a little kid in my diet oftentimes because it is cheap and tasty and easy. I don't have to pay $50 for it (and since it goes to the Eternal Life event, I am less bothered by the cost though it is out of the question for so many good Catholic families sadly...but people have a right to what they paid for, and I don't think it is Eternal Life's fault...)! But, if I had been in that situation, I would have been more than happy if the waitstaff gave me a huge plateful of macaroni and cheese. Just sayin'. Meatless is meatless, and I think I might have had a huge grin on my face.

The poor Sisters of the Fiat had to have the beef. Bummer.


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