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St. Aloysius fish fry part of local Catholic religious tradition

Every religion has its own traditions that have been held throughout the course of time. One of the long-lasting traditions for those of the Roman Catholic faith has been not eating meat on Fridays during Lent.

Lent is the 40-day period that begins on Ash Wednesday, which this year was Feb. 13, and ends on the Friday before Easter Sunday.

Catholics are encouraged to give up something or do something extra in preparation for the resurrection of Jesus which is celebrated on Easter.

In keeping up with that tradition, St. Aloysius on South Summit is holding its annual fish fry tonight.

According to Fr. Edward Schleter, pastor for St. Aloysius, the tradition of sacrificing eating meat began to honor Jesus sacrificing himself.

“There was a notion that you should give up something special and meat, in many communities, was considered special,” he said. “Not eating meat was a way to deprive yourself of something to help you think about something greater like the resurrection of Jesus.”

Fish, however, is considered a suitable substitute on Fridays of Lent and is served by many church groups through fish fries.

St. Aloysius will be holding its yearly fish fry this evening in the school gym. Fish is all-you-can-eat and it comes with a baked potato, cole slaw, drink and dessert for $6.50.

“It’s a good deal for what you get,” said Mark Kessler, Grand Knight of the Holy Trinity Council of the Knights of Columbus, the organization that sponsors the fish fry.

The money raised will go toward St. Aloysius school and usually brings in about 400 people.

While restaurants in Bowling Green do serve fish, Kessler said that this gives the community another option.

“If they want the money to go toward a local cause it gives them an option for that,” he said.

While St. Aloysius only holds one fish fry, many parishes hold a weekly fish fry duing the Lenten season including St. Jerome in Walbridge and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Deshler.

Holding the weekly fish fries can be more than just keeping with a tradition of faith according to Sister Dionne of Immaculate Conception.

“It’s another way to come together as a community,” she said. “We even have people outside the church who come.”

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