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Diets altered during season of Lent

Meatless Fridays part of local parish practices
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Lent is not the time for lavish dinners. The 40-day period from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, is a time for penance, suggested by Christ’s 40 days in the desert. It’s a time of reflection, prayer and fasting. Father Mike Carroll with St. Teresa of Avila Church said Catholics fast for two days during Lent — Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. One full, yet simple meal, and a couple snacks are all you should consume on these days, Carroll said. “It’s done along with Christ’s 40 days of fasting,” he said. “It’s supposed to make you feel closer to God.” Not eating meat on Fridays during Lent is another way to make sacrifices during the season. “We’re supposed to stay off the meat on Fridays,” Carroll said. “The meat, it has to do with being frugal.” In other words, no lobster dinners on Friday, Carroll said. “It’s supposed to be a frugal meal,” he said. The Auburn Council of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal benefit society, is in the middle of its annual Lenten fish fry schedule. The local Knights prepare and serve fried and baked cod, along with sides, each Friday during Lent. Meat is bad, but fish is OK, said Tony Ivins, past grand knight. “There was a time in history when eating meat on Fridays was forbidden,” Ivins said. “We’re just there to facilitate not eating meat Fridays.” Dinner is served from 5-7 p.m. each Friday through April 22. Fish is on the menu every week except for Good Friday, April 22, when the Knights plan to serve soup — vegetable minestrone and New England clam chowder — and bread. And that’s it. “It’s a little more humble,” Ivins said. “Soup is a more humble meal than anything else. It’s good but it’s still soup.” Dinner is served each Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church parish hall, located at 11600 Atwood Road in Auburn. The cost is $7 per adult, $3 for children 12 and under, and $20 for families of five or more. Shrimp cocktails are sold at an additional cost. Call (530) 887-9718 for more information.