GALLIPOLIS — Saint Louis Catholic Church at 85 State Street will be holding its annual Lenten Fish Fries, starting this Friday from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
“We do it six Fridays, starting after Ash Wednesday, and we go up to the Friday before Good Friday,” said Father Tom Hamm. “It seems like it’s been something that’s been going on since time immemorial as a practice here.”
Hamm has served as the church’s priest since 2011. The church was reportedly started in the 1850s.
The fish fry is considered one of the church’s big fundraisers for the year with another such fundraiser in August featuring a spaghetti dinner. The church has previously used funds to upgrade aging electrical structures within its facility.
“All together, we still have other things like replacing doors and maybe some shingles and the roof in a couple years,” said Hamm. “It’d be nice to not have to do it, but we’re just like everybody else.”
The Lenten season is a traditional time of preparation for celebration of Easter.
“The general idea is its 40 days leading up to Easter and it represents the 40 days that Christ was in the desert,” said Hamm. “So we are supposed to be going into the desert with Christ at this time. It has a couple of different characteristics in the Catholic church. We look upon it as a time to look back and see how faithful we’ve been to our baptismal promises and then decide what we have to change in our lives to be truer to those…. It’s about looking deep into our hearts, seeing what sin we have in our lives and how to uproot it and get it out of there so we can make a good Easter.”
It’s also a time of preparation for those who have not been baptized to focus on changes in their life as they prepare to become followers of Christ.
Meals are $10 for adults and $5 for children up to 12. Three and under eat free. The menu consists of all one can eat fish with three sides, sauteed fish with three sides or six shrimp with three sides. Sides include fries, macaroni and cheese, hush puppies, baked potatoes, green beans and coleslaw.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.