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Lenten Fish Frys Abound in South County

Most churches in the area are gearing up for their popular, traditional Lenten fish dinners.

Lenten Fish Frys Abound in South County Lenten Fish Frys Abound in South County Lenten Fish Frys Abound in South County

Lent, the season spanning the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, represents a time of penitence, self-denial and atonement in several Christian faiths. One tradition that has persisted over centuries is the idea of giving up something that you enjoy during the Lenten season. Traditionally, the faithful avoid meat on Ash Wednesday, March 9 of this year, and on all Fridays during Lent. 

Fish frys have been around since the first Paleolithic man tripped and dropped his catch on the campfire. However, it was in the year 1966 that Lenten fish frys became standard events at churches all around the nation, especially where there were large Catholic populations. It was in that year that the Vatican changed its stance from not eating meat on all Fridays, but still encouraging dietary sacrifices during Lent, especially on Ash Wednesday and Lenten Fridays. The eating of fish as a meat substitute became traditional on these days.

The Mehlville-Oakville community boasts  some of the finest fish frys around. Most have their own tried and true recipes and specialties for the seasonal dinners. If you enjoy good fish dinners with plenty of side dishes, this is the season to enjoy them every week until Easter Sunday. Once, only fried fish appeared on the Lenten menus, but now with a more health conscious population of diners, baked fish is now a popular choice. Most churches offer both dine-in and take-home options for the meals. The prices are reasonable and the fish is always very fresh and tasty. 

Here are a few area churches that are carrying on the Lenten tradition in fine style. 

Mary Mother of the Church, 5901 Kerth Road 63128 
Dates: The three fish frys scheduled during the Lenten season are on March 11, March 25 and April 8.
Time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Menu: The dinner is your choice of baked white fish, fried cod, jack salmon or shrimp along with two side dishes chosen from scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, green beans macaroni and cheese and applesauce.
Cost: $8 for adults and $4 for children
Dine-in or carry-out 

St. Matthias the Apostle, 796 Buckley Road 63125
Dates:  March 11, March 25, April 1 and April 15
Time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Menu: You may choose either hand-breaded cod filets or fried shrimp served with your choice of two sides including spaghetti, green beans, coleslaw and applesauce.
Cost: Adults $7.50, seniors $7, children $5-$5.50
Dine-in or carry-out

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, 4900 Ringer Road 63129 
Dates: Fish frys will be held on Ash Wednesday, March 9, and every Friday during Lent
Time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Menu: Take your choice of fish filets, baked tilapia, cod chunks or shrimp. A choice of two sides is included in the price, as well as a full salad bar and dessert for those choosing the eat-in option.
Cost: $7.75-8.75
Dine-in or carry-out, with a drive-up option for carry-outs.

St. Francis of Assisi, 4556 Telegraph Road 63129
Dates: Ash Wednesday, March 9, and on Lenten Fridays: March 11, March 18, March 25, April 1, April 8, April 15 and April 22
Time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Menu: Choose from Jack salmon, cod or cheese pizza along with your choice of two sides from a list of five. Bread is included with the meal. Dessert is extra but certainly worth it.
Cost: $7-8 range depending on selections
Dine-in or carry-out

St. Andrew Catholic Church, 309 Hoffmeister Ave. 63125
Dates: Every Friday during Lent and on Ash Wednesday, March 9
Time:  4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Menu: Choose from baked or fried cod, catfish or Jack salmon. Dinners include a choice of two homemade sides including spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, green beans and potato salad.
Cost: $6.50
Dine-in or carry-out.       

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