OLPH serving the whole enchilada

Volunteers at Our Lady of Perpetual Help begin the multi-step preparation of making enchiladas Friday afternoon, March 4, in the parish hall. It was the first day of service for the parish’s meatless Lenten Friday meals. (Advance photo)

Our Lady of Perpetual Help serves meatless meals most Lent Fridays

Justin Kelley knows better than anyone that it takes a lot of enchiladas to keep the students from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in their Catholic schools.

The parish serves meatless Mexican meals on Fridays of Lent to supplement the cost of sending parish children to Wichita’s Catholic elementary and high schools.

Although the parish no longer has its own school, Kelley said parishioners are able to send their children to parishes with Catholic schools. “We have more kids, I think, in Bishop Carroll than we’ve ever had,” he said. “We have quite a few at St. Pat’s, St. Jude, St. Joe, and St. Anne’s. I have them spread out all over the city!”
Kelley has served a lot of meatless Mexican meals in the 17 years he has assisted with the parish’s annual Friday Lenten event. For the last 15 years he’s overseen the project.

The parish has about 35 families whose children attend Catholic schools, but those families aren’t the only volunteers. “I also have parents whose kids have graduated from Catholic schools, who we have put through Catholic schools, who come back every year to help us,” he said.

About 70 are involved in the stewardship of preparing and serving the Lenten fare, Kelley said. “We have adults. We have kids. It’s a parish thing. No kid is too small if he’s going to Catholic school. I’ll find him something to do.”

Kelley’s been racking up the miles gathering supplies from all over the city in preparation for the Friday Lenten meals. “People donate and I have businesses who donate by helping with their suppliers.”

Thursdays and Fridays are prep days when volunteers will set up the parish hall and begin cooking for the Friday service, he said. “Then that evening at 5, here we go!”

Abigail Frazier opens her mouth in anticipation of a spoonful of Mexican rice Friday, March 4, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s parish hall. Delivering the food is her mother, Erika. (Advance photo)

Thinking Mexican food?

On the menu this year at Our Lady of Perpetual Help are enchiladas, potato tacos, tostadas, chiles rellenos, beans, rice, and fideo. The meals are served in the parish hall and are available for carry-out. Service starts at 5 p.m. on the Fridays of Lent, except Good Friday. The usual closing time is about 7:30 p.m. The parish is located at 2351 N. Market St. In Wichita.

Knights of Columbus serving fish

A few Knights of Columbus councils are hosting fish fries during Lent. The Colwich-St. Marks Knights are hosting a fry on March 25 and April 8. Council #4118 is hosting a fish fry on March 25 in Cana Hall at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita. Check your Catholic Advance or visit DigitalCatholicAdvance.org for details.