Fish Fry Friday all the rage around the Archdiocese
March 7, 2016
HOUSTON — Whether it's fried, baked or blackened, it's all about that fish every Friday at parishes across the Archdiocese during Lent.
Chances are you either have a fish fry at your parish or you have one near you. A Friday fish fry is a great time to meet parishioners and community members, enjoy a meal with those who are working hard to serve up some good eats and be in solidarity with those who are also on this 40-day journey of prayer, self-awareness and sacrifice.
Hushpuppies, cakes keep ‘em coming back for more at Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Hitchcock has been dishing up their fish every Friday during Lent for more than 25 years. Their Knights of Columbus Council #10393 took over the fish fry 24 years ago and it's been a must-attend parish event ever since.
Paige Persad, parish secretary at Our Lady of Lourdes, said it takes a lot of volunteers to organize the fish fry every Friday, including 15 to 18 men cooking the food, 12 to 14 men preparing the plates and many more making tea and coffee, selling tickets, serving cakes and cleaning up.
"This is really a time when we get together as a faith community," she said. "We see friends that we don't get to see as often as we'd like. There's just something very special about sitting down and eating with our brothers and sisters, and this helps to solidify our unity as a parish. It's a true community event too because the residents of Santa Fe and Hitchcock are well-represented at our fish fries."
The menu is similar to what is featured at most fish fries — fried or baked fish, hush puppies, cole slaw, a vegetable, French fries, a drink and a dessert. The magic is in the making.
"The hush puppies are made from scratch, and are really delicious," Persad said. "Also, everyone's favorites are the desserts made by the Altar and Rosary Society. There are a few ladies whose cakes are heavily sought after. When one of them brings her cake in, there are always people who come up to the dessert table right then to make sure to get a slice!"
Adults clearly want to spoil their meals as if they were children just to get a slice of the cakes that are destined to run out before the night is over. But age is not a factor at this parish, and Fridays during Lent are about bringing everyone together as a family.
"All ages, from the little kids to the seniors, have a chance to spend time getting to know each other with no time constraints," Persad said. "On one hand, that seems like such a simple thing, but we all grow as a result. Because Our Lady of Lourdes is a generation parish, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are now a part of this long-standing tradition that was started by their grandparents and great-grandparents."
All are welcome to join in the fun from 4 to 7 p.m. every Friday in KC Hall. Dinners are only $8 for adults and $4 for children. Visit www.ololchurch.org for more information.
Boy Scouts run the show at St. Anne Fish Fry in Houston
Boy Scout Troop 1730 spearheads the fish fry at St. Anne Catholic Church, located at 2140 Westheimer Road in Houston. On the menu, the Boy Scouts and adult volunteers prepare fried, baked or blackened fish, French fries, green beans, fresh cole slaw and hush puppies. The crowd favorite for this parish is also on the dessert menu: cranberry walnut treats andand brownies.
Scout Master William Flaherty described what this parish fish fry is known for around town.
"Lagniappe! You always get a little something extra," he said. "The first week it was fried shrimp, last week it was etouffee. We always try to add a small offering that comes with the meal, tastes good and is a surprise. We've also done gumbo, oysters and crawfish."
In addition to keeping fish fry goers on their toes, the Scouts and volunteers keep it fun for everyone with the lagniappe, or other extras, they also have during the fish fry.
"We try and make it family friendly," Flaherty said. "We play Dixieland jazz on the PA and have a kid's movie on in a corner for them to watch."
For 18 years, this event has been bringing the parish together for fellowship and community building. If you're near Westheimer on a Friday evening, stop by St. Anne's from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in St. Basil Hall. Dinners are $9 for adults and $4 for kids. Visit saintanne.org for more information.
Fish Fry and Stations of the Cross
Most parishes offer Stations of the Cross led by parishioners or the clergy following the fish fry. Inquire about this this popular Lenten devotion, started by St. Francis of Assisi, to further delve into discovering the unconditional love of Christ during your Lenten journey.
For a partial list of fish frys around town, click here.