As Catholics, we are required to fast for at least one hour before receiving the Eucharist. This is to prepare our bodies to receive this most Holy Sacrament. Depending on the Mass time, this could leave some people feeling pretty hungry by the time Mass gets out. The Fellowship and Food Committee at St. Andrew decided to address this by offering a monthly meal at the Parish Center after Mass — depending on the time of year, on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Fr. Paul Timmerman encouraged a committee to plan fellowship events and Billie Rillo got involved through the most recent Stewardship Renewal.
“Having this committee has been a helpful vehicle for initiating fellowship more on a routine basis,” she says. “It allows our sister churches to join us during our Mass time and get to know other parishioners for community building activities we offer after Mass.”
Various groups handle the meal — either brunch on Sunday mornings or supper on Saturday nights. There’s an opportunity for attendees to leave a donation, and the money is used for retreats, youth and adult education, supplies, and future events. But Billie and the committee don’t want money to be a deterrent for people to come. This is truly for everyone.
“What I enjoy most is seeing our parishioners come together willingly to help keep our committee not only going but growing,” Billie says.
This monthly meal truly offers the opportunity for fellowship, and friendships inevitably form. Billie hopes to see these meals and any other fellowship events thrive.
“I believe it’s fair to say a large part of building community is shared through food and hospitality,” she says. “We all gather at Mass for faith, worship and to grow in and through Christ. With fellowship and hospitality to follow, it’s another avenue to help each other grow more outside of Mass.”
St. Andrew’s parishioners show their true hospitality through this ministry. All are welcome to enjoy a meal together.
“Our vocation as Catholics is to include, invite, and provide for guests, visitors, and strangers,” Billie says.
One strong indication of this ministry’s success is that the food is usually gone at the end!
Billie invites anyone to get involved in planning the meals, whether you are new to the parish or have been here for a long time. Becoming a member is also an opportunity to meet new people and form friendships.
To get involved in the St. Andrew’s Fellowship and Food events or any other fellowship activities, contact Billie Rillo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-248-0057.