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Catholic Church’s ‘Fish Fry’ returns to Pahrump

“I think it was good advertising from the Pahrump Valley Times.”

That quotation lead came from none other than Rick Minch, deacon of Our Lady of the Valley Roman Catholic Church located at 781 E. Gamebird Road.

Minch was referring to the church’s Friday, Feb. 26th “Fish Fry” where servers essentially ran out of food to feed the masses.

“It’s also Lent, and on Fridays, Catholics abstain from meats,” Minch said. “I think people make an extra effort to abstain from meat on Fridays and instead come to the fish fry, but unfortunately, we ran out of fish. Even for some of the people who pre-ordered, we were not able to fulfill their order unfortunately.”

As a result of the situation, Minch said the church is making a few adjustments to ensure there’s enough food to go around for the drive-thru takeout at the church.

Changes coming around

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the fish fry has been altered to where church officials and volunteers actually bring the meals out to those waiting in their vehicles.

“We’re making some changes to hopefully streamline the process a little bit,” he said. “We’ve done pre-orders before, and it just kind of slowed things down. I thought that it would speed things up, but it actually slowed everything down, so we’re not going to do that this time. We are going to try to get more people that can bring the food from the kitchen out to the cars, and we’re going to start to cook a little bit earlier and be more prepared for when people come. We say from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., but the people started to come early, so we’re going to try to be ready. We’re not encouraging people to come early, but we will try to be ready.”

Today’s catch

Minch also spoke about the variety of fish dinners that the church regularly prepares.

“The fried fish dinner comes with french fries and coleslaw,” he said. “The big fish dinner, which is baked cod, comes with fries and coleslaw. We also have fish tacos, which are extremely popular and people really love it. We can serve those either individually as tacos, or as a dinner with french fries. It’s a fundraiser for sure, and with everything that’s gone on the last year, churches of every denomination are hurting, and this is really, really helping us keep up with our bills, be able to keep our doors open and keep serving the Lord as best we can and serving our parish community and the community at large.”

Abnormal year

Additionally, Deacon Minch said the fish frys are normally held each month, but that has since changed over the past year.

“In a normal year, we have one every month, and then every week during Lent, so we wind up with about 14 in a normal year,” he said. “This year with everything being the way it is, we did one in October, we did one last week, and we have two in March, which are the 12 and the 26. After that, we’re not sure if we’re going to wait again until the fall, or what we’re going to do. The advertising in the paper has really driven people who maybe didn’t know about us before. Maybe they just moved here, and found out about it and came, which was a blessing for us. We just have to be more prepared when we work. We are so blessed to have volunteers that work so hard, along with members of the parish and the Knights of Columbus. Their gifts of time and talent in serving the Lord are inspiring.”

On a final note, Deacon Minch spoke about how the pandemic has affected services at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.

“It’s been a challenge to a degree because of the capacity limitations,” he noted. “We’re blessed because some of our parishioners have arranged a YouTube channel and people can watch it on their computers, but it’s just not the same as being there in person. The fish fry has been affected because we can’t have the hospitality, and have people come and sit and eat together in the parish hall and that’s really been difficult, but in the meantime, the drive-thru is a good way to have people enjoy a good meal and reasonable price.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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