The Knights of Columbus has long provided Lenten Fish Fries in parishes across the United States to serve parishioners in their Lenten obligations and to build up a primary pillar of our Order: fraternity. But due to the coronavirus outbreak, those fish fries have been cancelled.
But not at Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Council 15020 at University Catholic, a center in Nashville, Tenn., that serves colleges in the area. They were still holding their fish fry, but with a twist: it was going virtual.
“The idea came from my friend Elizabeth,” said Jake Edwards, a student at Vanderbilt University and grand knight of Council 15020. “She was disappointed when hearing that the Knights would be unable to put on our usual Lenten fish fry this semester and wanted to keep the tradition going any way possible.”
Edwards and the council decided to maintain the fish fry tradition while also adhering to social distancing. So they came up with the “Virtual Fish Fry,” which was held on March 27. They encouraged students who’d join to make a “meatless meal and enjoy it with your friends.”
Nearly 15 students joined in the fish fry festivities, as well as Father Gervan Menezes, associate pastor at St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, Tenn., and chaplain for Council 15020.
“Father Gervan, cooked up the most extravagant meal,” Edwards said. “He made a Brazilian seafood and vegetable dish. I made a seafood pasta meal with the help of my girlfriend.”
The 15 participants came together virtually over Zoom, sharing a meal, while also catching up with each other to see how they were “keeping their commitments to Christ during this challenging time.”
“Remaining in contact is extremely important during this time,” Edwards said. “First, it gives all of us a sense of peace in knowing that our friends are here to help us get through the hardships of social distancing. Second, by maintaining strong connections with people devoted to loving and serving Christ, we are so much more likely to remain steadfast in our own faith and relationship with Jesus.”
The College Knights see the fish fry, whether physical or virtual, as part of their main mission on campus, which is to serve. And Knights across the Order are encouraged to engage in service activities during the pandemic through the “Leave No Neighbor Behind” program.
“This event gives the community a way to praise God over something that we all enjoy — eating food,” Edwards said. “It may not be one hundred percent ideal, but it's a way that we can serve from afar.”
The Knights are planning to do another virtual meal, but to celebrate Easter.
Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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