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Meatless Fridays mean big fundraisers at Catholic churches

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 4:10 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - One of the biggest fundraisers of the year is kicking off at Catholic churches in southeast Louisiana. The first Friday of Lent means no meat, but Catholics have figured out a way to make the sacrifice much easier to bear.

At Saint Gabriel the Archangel Church in Gentilly, and at more than 50 catholic churches across the region, the smell of seafood fills the air. Dozens of volunteers have come together as they’ve done for decades to crank out hundreds of meals to the faithful who are foregoing meat for fish on Lenten Fridays.

“I don’t know if you can call it a sacrifice, but we’re going with the church’s rules. When you give up something during Lent, you sacrifice because of the sacrifices God made for us,” said Rev. Tony Ricard.

On the menu: fried or baked catfish, a couple of vegetables, macaroni, bread, and a drink.

The cooks are professionals. Roy White is a retired Marriott hotel chef and knows his way around the kitchen.

“This is my sacrifice for lent. Every year, we give up something for Lent and I give the Lord seven weeks,” he said.

Other volunteers came from St. Augustine High School.

For $10 you get a healthy plate of food and thanks to the volunteers at this church, it will make thousands of dollars to cover many needs, especially for those still recovering from Hurricane Ida.

“With the pandemic, we’ve been locked down for a long time and people are just excited about getting together once again,” said Father Ricard.

And they will be getting together every Friday during lent, at Saint Gabriel’s in Gentilly, as well as Catholic churches near you.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has put out a list of all the churches offering Friday fish fries. You can find it on Nolaweekend.com.

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