Recently, St. Mary’s Parish in Westfield  has hosted community meals with a special theme. It had a Phillipine Night this winter.  On March 20,  the parish sponsored a Spanish meal in honor of St. Francis Xavier.

Father Longe shares some highlights of the night.

By Father James W. Longe,

St. Mary Parish in Westfield

The Parish of Saint Mary in Westfield hosted a delightful St. Francis Xavier Novena Meal within the gymnasium of St. Mary’s High School  on Bartlett Street. Our community meal (of paella, sangria, churros, and the like) intentionally highlighted the Spanish origin of this stellar Jesuit Saint who was the focus of our Parish’s annual Novena of Grace.

Preparation and execution was made a little difficult because of lack of adequate space during such a busy time within our Liturgical Year, yet all worked out fine: Praise the Lord! As a spiritual family, similar to physical families, we humbly adapt and support one another without complaint for the benefit of all: Praise God! Roughly 50 percent of our evening’s volunteers are non-parishioners and former immigrants, which filled all with gratitude and hope – Amen!   

Spanish flag

In the  photograph below we find Mrs. Glorina Angco beginning food preparation at home. With 98 tickets sold in advance, and many more purchased at the door, every volunteer was required to make personal sacrifices in order to ensure no guest arrived disappointed or left hungry. Consequently, when the crowds arrived . . . . we were ready!

Gloria Angco

The next phot shows  the smiling souls of Glorina Angco, Beth Murphy, Edith Angco, and Lena Ala as they prepare to lovingly serve our home-made cuisine to grateful guests.

As the entrée arrived, our guests were finishing their fresh fruit salad and smoked ham, lentil and saffron soup.

After a little live Spanish music and lots of generous parting words, Saint Mary’s volunteers immediately began transforming our parish High School for early Monday morning classes. With exhaustion clearly in their faces (below), James Longe and Ramon Angco de-decorate:

Knowing that for Christians “spring” is more of an internal reality than an external phenomenon, the Parish of Saint Mary in Westfield is grateful for what has been accomplished by Our Lord and by one another, and heartily looks forward to our next meal within May (the month of Mary!). Will you please join us?

Call St. Mary’s at 562-5477 for more information.

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