The 100 Most Important Fish Fry Dinners
Ten years ago, brothers-in-law Frank McSorley and Mike Cuddy helped found the St. Alphonsus Fish Fry as a fund-raiser for the parish and school. This year, the Fish Fry had its most successful season ever, serving 1,400 to 1,700 meals every Friday with the help of hundreds of volunteers. The Fish
Fry also was voted The Ultimate Pittsburgh Fish Fry in a contest sponsored by TheIncline.com. But there is more to the Fish Fry story. Here is that story in Mike’s words.
When the Fish Fry concludes each year, we take our “leftovers” to First United Methodist Church in East Liberty and prepare a Holy Saturday lunch for 100 to 150 homeless and hungry folks. The First Food and Friends ministry has been going on for years and we got involved through my friendship with Patrick
Haver, the coordinator. Patrick is an amazing individual who gives up 50 Saturdays each year to provide Bible study, wholesome food, support and friendship to people who are on the outer edges of society’s safety net.
For at least one of those Saturdays, we are a part of that net.
This year, when our guests arrived for lunch, Frank and I were presented with an Easter thank-you card that brought tears to our eyes. They have come to love and look forward to our baked fish lunches,
and the mac & cheese and coleslaw, of course. An image of the card gives you a look into the hearts of these people.
This all started when we were at St. Theresa of Avila and we carried it forward when St. Alphonsus’ Fish Fry started up. It’s a great program and groups are welcome to coordinate with Patrick (412-580-1522) and supply volunteer help throughout the year. He would certainly welcome additional helpers from
the St. Alphonsus community.
The participants from St. Al’s were Frank McSorley, my daughter Melissa, and myself. The rest of the volunteers were a group from New Life Church in New Kensington.
With all the commotion about the Fish Fry this year — the number of dinners served, money collected, awards, etc., etc., we thought we should point out a lesser known, but more important, number of dinners that are served every Holy Saturday.
We had our hands full serving 1,600+ dinners on Good Friday and still having leftovers for the morning.
Thankfully, Frank’s brother Danny, who runs St. Theresa’s Fish Fry, was able to bail us out with enough leftovers for us to provide a great meal, complete with seconds and to-go packs.
During the ride home from East Liberty each year, we are able to finally relax, the Fish Fry over, and feel like we’ve really done something good. We thought you would like to hear about this.