Catholic churches and organizations are gearing up for the Lenten season by hosting fish fries on Fridays, as Catholics abstain from eating meat until Easter. The Toledo Catholic Diocese has nearly 50 parishes participating this year. Most Blessed Sacrament, a parish in Toledo, Ohio, is bringing back its in-person fish fry after two years of only offering pick-up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Father Michael Geiger of the Most Blessed Sacrament said that they expect to have hundreds of people in their auditorium every Friday during Lent. The parish plans to serve around 800 pounds of fish, 400 pounds of potatoes, 100 pounds of homemade coleslaw, and desserts to the estimated 800 people expected to attend the event.
Geiger said that fish fries are a great way to bring people together in solidarity during Lent. He added that the event helps people to fast and follow their religious beliefs in a profound way. The co-chairs of Most Blessed Sacrament’s fish fries, Laurie McHugh and Carla Majewski, said they are excited to bring back the festivities in person.
McHugh said that around 25 people help with preparations the day before the event, and approximately 100 volunteers will clean, prepare, and serve food. She added that preparations for the fish fries begin in October.
The parish raised its prices to cover the costs of growing the ministry for school, salaries, and the church. Geiger said that the prices range from $10 to $15, depending on age. Children under five years old can eat for free. Despite the price increase, Geiger emphasized that the event is still an economical choice and offers fantastic food.
Fish fries are a long-standing tradition during the Lenten season. They offer people an opportunity to come together, enjoy a meal, and follow their religious beliefs in solidarity. By bringing back in-person fish fries, Most Blessed Sacrament is allowing people to reconnect with their community and enjoy a traditional meal together after a difficult couple of years during the pandemic.