Parish Dinners

I don’t know how many of my readers are from small rural parishes from the Midwest, but if you are then you know about parish dinners. They are multi-faceted affairs. Ostensibly, they are exist to raise some money for important parish or school activities and to provide for the social needs of the parish.

In reality, they make some money, and enhance the social cohesiveness of the parish, but they are much more than that.

They are opportunities for former pastors to come back for the meal. 

They are showcases for the “secret recipes” of the women of the parish.

They are not only Catholic affairs, but a setting for everyone in the town (and in all truth, from many towns in the surrounding area) to get together and talk about everything, especially family.

They are often crowded, warm events. People rub elbows. The priests and deacons become very available to anyone who wishes to approach them with whatever.

They are times when priest friends gather to talk about golfing or old parishioners or their recent pastoral successes.

They are one of the few times the people will get to hear a “Polka Mass.” (If you are not from the Midwest, especially from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, or one of the Dakotas, you will not comprehend this at all.)

They are feasts. You can get all you want for about eight bucks.

You can come as you are.  Anything from sport coats to blaze orange hunting gear all sitting at the same table with no problem and no surprise noted.

They are a lot of work. You are able to see quickly who the workers are in the parish, because they will be the ones peeling the potatoes, carrots or whatever, and spending the day before getting the roast beef prepared, the pies baked and everything in order.

They are parishes at their best.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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