There are a number of significant days in the Catholic Church that are defined not by their date on the calendar, but by their day of the week–Easter Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday–but one of my favorites, and certainly Bonnie’s, is unique to St. Dominic’s parish in Garden City. That day is Fritter Friday.
Years ago, or perhaps months ago–I’m no church historian–someone from the office decided to get donuts one Friday morning and Fr. Reggie requested a raspberry fritter, which is available only on Fridays. According to Church tradition, that first Fritter Friday brought frosting, merriment, and a sudden uptick of productivity never before seen so close to the weekend.
When we moved to Garden, I laid out a detailed schedule for myself, which included three hours of editing every morning, three hours of writing/reading every afternoon, lunch with Susan, games with Bonnie, and daily Mass every day. By the end of our first week in town, I had written twice, was woefully behind on my edits, and had taken Bonnie to daily Mass exactly zero times. So that Friday morning we wandered into the sanctuary to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the “Children’s Mass,” which is put on by the elementary school.
“Can I be here?” I asked Fr. Reggie. “I mean adults. Can adults attend?”
He smiled and assured me that we were welcome.
Bonnie was a hit immediately with the children who saw her and the adults who came up to us after the Mass. So it should’ve come as no surprise when she caught the attention of the church staff when we went to register our family with the parish.
They immediately called for Fr. Reggie to register Bonnie as a new parishioner:
The following week, we were invited to participate in Fritter Friday.
While I ate donuts and drank coffee, the church staff put Bonnie right to work on a calculator doing important parish business. She did such a good job they elected her employee of the month:
The images are horizontal because these actually appeared on the cover of the St. Dominic website a few days after introducing this little girl to everyone. No joke. Have I mentioned how welcoming Garden City has been?
Food is one of the best ways humans show community. It’s no great surprise that the Jews all ate the same meal before departing Egypt or that Christ’s last meeting with His disciples before the crucifixion was over a meal. Who we invite to our table says a lot about us, and I’m honored to have been invited to this table. As my grandma Moses used to say, “A cute baby can get you into anywhere.”