Enjoying a meal together is one of the simplest ways to build community. St. Monica’s Kermes celebrations bring together the best of Latin culture and food for our parish and wider community to enjoy while raising money for the parish. Claudio Toto, with the help of Francisco Rubio, Sara Araujo, Maricruz Acosta and Ulices Gallardo, organizes each Kermes. It takes a large stewardship effort to prepare and serve food, set up for the event, and clean up.
The Kermes celebrations are open to the public and anyone is welcome to purchase homecooked food. Funds raised go directly to the parish’s needs.
“This event is an opportunity for fellowship and for parishioners to get to know each other better,” Claudio says.
Claudio and his team prepare by purchasing food and groceries for other volunteers to prepare on the day of the event. All the food is donated by parishioners. If the weather is nice, Kermes will be held outdoors, but in cooler months it moves to the cafeteria.
A new idea this year came from a parishioner who suggested a free Kermes specifically for our parish stewards to thank them for all they do for the parish. The free Kermes was held on Palm Sunday so that many parishioners could attend.
When Claudio began organizing one Kermes, it soon led to another and then another as parishioners stepped up to help. Money raised at a Kermes event was instrumental for the Parish Meeting Center renovations, benefiting many different groups who use the space.
“God has given us many talents, and we need to use them to build the kingdom of God,” Claudio says. “This is a way that we can help build His kingdom and help our parish to keep it beautiful and open for new parishioners.”
For information on when the next Kermes will be held, check the parish’s Facebook page or narthex or Mass announcements. Each Kermes will be announced the Sunday before and the day of, and are held more often during the warmer months.
To learn more or to serve, contact Claudio Toto at email@example.com.