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The Florida Catholic

Lenten fish fry is more than a meal

Fish fry crew

PORT ST. LUCIE  |  In dioceses throughout the United States, many Knights of Columbus councils host fish dinners at parishes during Lent. At Holy Family in Port St. Lucie, members of Knights of Columbus Father Omer H. Brauner Council 12159 kicked off their Lenten fish fry on Feb. 16, with the conclusion set for Friday, March 22.     

The fish fry is popular with parishioners and the community at large. On Feb. 23, the second meal of the Lenten season, Knights of Columbus member Jim Thoma described the event as “scrumptious and delicious, and we have great fellowship.”

Susan Travis, from Tradition in Port St. Lucie West, and her husband, Todd, came to the fish fry because her sister reminded her that, “during Lent, the church has the fish fry. And the people that put this on do an excellent job.” Dawn Blair of Jensen Beach added, “This is my second year, and this is so good.”

In addition to the K of C event being a fun family and neighborly get-together, it is a great fundraiser for the council. The funds raised from the fish fry go back to the parish in the form of aid to other organizations and people within the community, wherever there is a need.

“The idea behind this is community. It brings in two to three hundred people to the parish each week, and we do a lot with the money,” said Holy Family Grand Knight Joe Prestianni. “We donate to the Ryan Center for Young Children ministry (a preschool on the Holy Family property), Grace Packs, St. Vincent de Paul, the seminarians and so many other charities.”

There is a lot of hard work involved in making such a successful event. “My husband, Robert, is a Knight and I have been doing this for eight years,” Sharon Sherman said. “I have been here since 9 o’clock in the morning, but it’s a joy. It’s a fellowship.”

Diana Matute-Anduray brought her two young twin daughters, Elisa and Elena, to the event. She said, “The Knights of Columbus are very active, and they do a lot for the community, and my husband is a Knight.” Her husband, council chancellor Roberto Anduray, who has been a member for two years, explained how he became a Knight. “A friend of mine called me up and told me that the Knights do a lot of community help, and that’s where they got me.”

According to the Catholic Church, Catholics are encouraged to experience a deeper conversion during Lent through acts of penance, including prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence (refraining from eating meat), starting at age 14. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (March 29 this year) are days of abstinence and fast (limiting oneself to one full meal and two lighter meals). The obligation to fast on those days is for people ages 18-59.

Those individuals who have a medical condition in which fasting may be harmful are not obliged to fast but should perform some other act of penance or charity. All members of the Christian faithful are encouraged to do acts of penance and charity during the Lenten season beyond what is prescribed by church law.

Following the Stations of the Cross at 3 p.m. every Friday during Lent at Holy Family, dinner is served from 4 to 7 p.m. The cost is $15 per person. The menu includes baked or fried fish, french fries or sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, coleslaw and a dinner roll. Homemade desserts, coffee or iced tea are included.

Prestianni said, “To join the council, just call me up, but you have to be prepared to serve God and have fun.”

Contact Prestianni at or 772-519-2286. Learn more about Holy Family Parish at or call 772-335-2385.

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