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Area Catholics cite sacrifice and community as the reason for fish fry Fridays during Lent

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Beginning with Ash Wednesday on March 5 and lasting until Easter Sunday on April 20, many devoted Catholics in Ogdensburg and around the world will refrain from eating meat on Fridays in favor of fish.

Sister Jennifer L. Votraw, director of communications for the Diocese of Ogdensburg, said the practice was put into place as a means of sacrifice while Catholics observe Lent in anticipation of the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

“The bottom line is that not eating meat on Friday is a sacrifice,” Sr. Votraw said.

In Ogdensburg, the Knights of Columbus, located at 721 Hasbrouck St., hosts a fish fry every Friday during the season of Lent – and often during other times throughout the year as the event has proven to be extremely popular.

Grand Knight Nelson J. Woods said the fish fry at the Ogdensburg Knights of Columbus is the “best you can have around the area.”

On any given Friday during Lent Mr. Woods said they draw 100 to 150 people.

Celina R. Burns, an attendee at Friday’s fish fry at the Knight’s of Columbus, said prior to the 1960’s Catholics used to set aside every Friday for abstaining from meat, something some older Catholics still do.

Today, Mrs. Burns said, “It’s a

sacrifice during Lent.”

Mrs. Burns said the reason they set aside Friday in particular is because that’s the day on which Jesus is traditionally thought to have been crucified.

Vernon D. “Sam” Burns, who also made it out to dinner on Friday, said he’s been eating fish on Fridays for his entire life. “It’s been a tradition in my family, pretty much year round.”

Knights of Columbus member Harry L. Lucchetti said besides the spiritual element, fish fry Fridays have become a great way for people to get together.

Mr. Lucchetti said the meals have become like “family gatherings.”

The Knights of Columbus will hold their fish fries on March 14, 21 and 28 and April 4,11 and 18.

The meals run from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and cost $9 for adults, $7 for seniors over the age of 65 and $5 for children under 12.

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