Friday, October 29, 2010

A different kind of Wednesday at St. Peter Chanel

For the last two months at St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell, Wednesday has become more than an evening of Parish School of Religion (PSR) sessions. It’s also Wednesday Night Family Supper. The family dinner concept came about to foster community and fellowship among families bringing their children to PSR.

Elementary PSR runs from 4:30p - 5:45p. Middle school and high school goes from 6:30p - 7:45p. The family supper starts at 5:30p and ends at 6:30p. During the elementary session parents have the option of attending parenting class. I stopped in on the Oct. 27 class and there were 15 parents participating in a class called Becoming A Love and Logic Parent. The seven-week course, taught by parishioner Sharon Egan, is designed to give parents practical techniques to help teach their kids discipline and responsibility. Once a month, usually on the first Wednesday of the month, a family rosary is held from 5-5:30p.

Sharon Eagan, far right, leads the parenting class.

Parishioner Maureen Penniman, the owner of Zest and Zing CafĂ©, Woodstock, prepares and serves the meals. She also teaches a fifth grade PSR class. Dinners can be ordered and prepaid online. They are $6.00 for adults and $3.50 for children. The supper is served in St. Peter Chanel’s McNamee Hall. There were 100 prepaid families and about 50 walk-ins this week, but they’ve served as many as 200 meals in the past. The meals are normally of a home-style variety and feature entrees like lasagna or chicken enchilada, plus two sides, dessert and a beverage.

The menu for this week’s All Saints celebration included a baked potato bar with items like beef and bean chili, broccoli and cheese, cheddar, bacon bits, sour cream and butter to top load the “tater.” Children who dressed up as saints received a discounted dinner that included a corn dog, chips, applesauce and a dessert treat.

St. Paul (second-grader Ryan Duffy) munches on a corn dog.

Wednesday Night Family Supper regular Stephany White said, “I find the dinners very convenient. I don’t have to cook, which makes it easy since I’m running the kids to various activities. The meals are also good and nourishing – better than fast food.” Her husband Eric also enjoys the family meals, but he equally enjoys his chance to socialize.

Members of The Forever Young ministry, made up of mostly seniors, are some of the most frequent customers to the dinners. Some of them live far away from immediate family and the dinners allow them to mingle and interact with parishioners and their children. When asked why the Forever Young group is so supportive of the Wednesday Night Family Supper, president Barbara Duchene said with a smile, “They contribute a dollar to our treasury for every six Forever Young paying customers we bring. But in addition to that, it’s a good night for all of us to come together.”

Maureen Penniman, left, serves some young dinner patrons.

Thirteen-year-old Jacob Seippel, the oldest quadruplet in his family, said he enjoys all the nice people he gets to hang out with. When it comes to his favorite meal, Seippel said, “I enjoyed the potato bar tonight, but the beef stroganoff was really good last week.”

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

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