While the pandemic has restricted Lenten gatherings, many Diocese of Wilmington parishes are still working hard to keep seasonal traditions alive while remaining safe.
The beginning of Lent typically marks the start of Friday fish frys at local churches.
Abstaining from meat on Fridays is a Catholic observance during Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday — Feb. 17 — this year.
In normal times, fish frys at local churches offer homey, comfort food at affordable prices and are usually organized by Knights of Columbus councils. Diocesan officials and parishes are following state regulations limiting large gatherings in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Among some of the plans this year are:
• Holy Cross Church, Dover: Fish fry will be hosted by Knights of Columbus every Friday of Lent from 4-7 p.m. Due to COVID restrictions dinners are take-out only at 219 Vetco Blvd. Camden. For more information, phone the parish office at 302-674-5783.
• St.Jude the Apostle Church, Lewes: “Grab and Go Soup” will be available following Stations of the Cross on Fridays in Lent (except Good Friday), after the 4 p.m. Mass on Saturday, and after the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Masses on Sunday. Each week two varieties of soup will be prepared, a meat-free vegetable soup, and a soup of the week. All soups will be freshly prepared, packaged in one-quart containers, and refrigerated, and ready to take home to heat and eat. Soups will be available for sale at the side door of the PLC or, weather permitting, at the main entrance of the church for $6 a quart or 2 quarts for $10. The Knights of Columbus will deliver any soup available on Monday each week. For more information, phone the parish at 302-644-7300.
• St. Francis De Sales, Salisbury, Md. — All dinners will be drive-through only utilizing their parking lots assisted by the Knights of Columbus. Organizers said they will be taking orders from the parking lot and then filling the order and hope to have no more than a five-minute wait once orders are taken. All participants will be masked and socially distanced. The kitchen staff will also be masked and will lay out the kitchen process so the volunteers are socially distanced. The three dinners will be: fish and shrimp – Feb. 26 and March 12; crabcake and shrimp – March 26. Proceeds from the above dinners support the Appalachia Service Project Youth Mission at St. Francis. For more information, phone the parish at 410-742-6443.
• St.Helena’s, Wilmington — the Fish Fry Dinners will run from Feb. 19- March 26 starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m. There will be limited socially distanced seating for members of the same household. Will also be offering takeout and curbside pickup. Telephone orders are accepted starting at 4 p.m. but pickup starts at 5 p.m. Credit cards are accepted for payments. To place a call-ahead order phone 302-598-8685.
Many parishes that typically have Lenten fish frys are not having them this year due to the pandemic. They include: St. John the Beloved, Wilmington; St. Joseph Church, Middletown; St. Joseph Church, French St.; Good Shepherd School, Perryville, Md.; Holy Family Church, Newark; St. Paul Church, Wilmington; St. John-Holy Angels, Newark; Our Lady of Lourdes, Seaford; St. Mary of the Assumption, Hockessin.