(WSYR-TV) — Griffin Harmon, the fish fry chair for Blessed Sacrament, didn’t set out to work in the food industry.
“Well, I’m a high school teacher, Christian Brothers Academy,” said Harmon. “And I got involved and I kinda got pushed into a leadership role.”
But, for the next few Friday nights, don’t get in his way!
“He’s an animal on those fryers,” said Rob James, the fish fry chair at St. Vincent DePaul. “Normally in previous years, we would always have two. He wants it himself, you know. He works better, he’s got a science down, and people do not have to wait.”
The fish fry at Blessed Sacrament in Eastwood traces its roots to Saint Vincent DePaul Church, which is a couple miles away.
In this day of consolidation, the two parishes now share a pastor. And four years ago, they decided to share the Lenten tradition and shift the fish fry to the larger cafeteria on James Street.
They lost a few customers in the move, but then gained more.
Catholics avoid eating meat on Fridays during the 40 days of Lent, between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
But, older parishioners remember a time, not that long ago, when the commitment was even bigger.
Meatless Fridays were observed year-round before the Second Vatican Council in the mid 1960s. Today, the fish fry is a much-needed fundraiser.
They say they can serve up to 500 meals a week. Fried or baked fish, or mac and cheese, with sides for $10 per person.
Tempted be dessert? They have it but it will cost you a little extra.
Now, in their fourth year together, the two parishes have grown closer and support each other over the rest of the year.
And the volunteers pride themselves on getting customers in and out in 15 minutes or less.
“I think this satisfies one of my life goals or dreams, of being a short-order cook,” said Harmon. “You know, I don’t think I’d want to do it full-time, but it’s good for 40 days.”
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