Gathering around a shared table is a cornerstone of our Catholic Faith. Gathering around a shared table has been foundational to family life for the entirety of human history.
Whatever the make-up of the families in your parish, a favorite family recipe is likely something every one of them treasures. A widow can recall and share a recipe and memories from when she gathered with her husband and children years ago. A single dad can share a recipe that he and his kids created together on a rainy Sunday. A group of singles who have become a “family by choice” could share a recipe they’ve created for when they gather together.
Treasured family recipes also remind us that family is forever. How many of our favorite recipes have been handed down through generations, and how many of us recall with love that family member—no longer with us in body—who created the recipe or who taught us how to prepare it?
The activity of sharing these recipes and the family stories that surround them can be a simple and inexpensive way for your parish to celebrate the families that make up your parish community. It can be a wonderful opportunity to capitalize upon the diversity of your community through the varied ethnic food recipes you may gather. Both food and stories unify people, and they are accessible to just about everyone. Jesus knew this and He regularly used both in His ministry.
Jesus often taught through stories, and many of His teachings used imagery relating to food and to gatherings involving food. Of course Jesus’ first miracle took place at the Wedding Feast in Cana, and one of His last acts was gathering with His Disciples at the Last Supper.
We hope your parish community will take this opportunity to share favorite family recipes and the stories that surround them as a way of celebrating your families in this year Amoris Laetitia Family. Please reach out to Jen Housel, Director for Community and Family Development, if you have any questions about how best to use this activity in your parish. (570-207-2213 x 1104, firstname.lastname@example.org)