Arlington Heights Knights of Columbus keep up Lenten fish fry tradition
March 4 2016 Lenten Fish Fry Pioneer Press article
Mike McNicholas of Arlington Heights fries tater tots and other meat-free dinner items in tall fryers outside of the Knights of Columbus Holy Rosary Council Lenten fish fry March 4 in Arlington Heights. (Karie Angell Luc / Pioneer Press)
“Fish fries are delicious and good for the s-o-l-e,” said Knights of Columbus trustee Mike McMahon of Des Plaines, formerly of Arlington Heights.
While sole wasn’t served March 4 at the Knights of Columbus Holy Rosary Council No. 4483 Lenten fish fry in Arlington Heights, 100 pounds of breaded fish were fried to catch about 200 people.
Toss in 130 pounds of tater tots and you have a Lenten Friday fried feast.
Catholics and people of all faiths looking for an affordable Friday night out are dining at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 15 N. Hickory Ave. in Arlington Heights.
Since Feb. 12, volunteers at the Knights of Columbus have been donating culinary talents to prepare a meal each Friday through March 18.
Declan Glynn, 2, of Arlington Heights, has a spoonful of macaroni and cheese courtesy of his mother, Kate Glynn, at the Knights of Columbus Holy Rosary Council Lenten fish fry March 4 in Arlington Heights. (Karie Angell Luc / Pioneer Press)
Many Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays until Easter with fish as an acceptable alternative source of protein.
“In the Catholic world, it’s a symbol of being concerned for the poor and we refrain from eating meat,” said Father Brian Simpson of St. Colette Parish in Rolling Meadows.
Proceeds from the six Lenten Friday fish fry meals benefit youth ministries and programs at St. Colette, St. Edna Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Church in Arlington Heights and Saint James Parish in Arlington Heights.
“What’s great is the Knights of Columbus get us together so that we can support the youth in our parish so that they can help those in need,” Simpson said.
Funds raised also assist Special Olympics.
Mike McNicholas of Arlington Heights is known as the “Tater Tot Man.”
“That’s what they started calling me last week!” McNicholas said, with a laugh, as he attended to a line of fired up fryers.
About 425 members belong to the Knights of Columbus Holy Rosary Council, which has a 50-year-plus history. McNicholas is a past Grand Knight.
“It brings people together,” McNicholas said of the Friday fish fry tradition. “It helps the kids for their missions and it’s a trickle-down effect.”
Dan Glynn and his wife Kate Glynn of Arlington Heights brought their twins Declan and Kaylee, 2, and daughter Coira, 4.
“We came last year and it was great,” the children’s mother said. “We like to come once a year.”
Catherine Cordell of Palatine, a 2005 Prospect High School graduate originally from Arlington Heights, worked March 4 as a bartender.
“I don’t charge priests,” Cordell said, who served a complimentary beverage to Simpson.
When Cordell wasn’t looking, Simpson quietly put the money in a container on the bar.
The Lenten fish fry is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. each Friday until March 18 at the Knights of Columbus Holy Rosary Council in Arlington Heights at 15 N. Hickory Ave.
Karie Angell Luc
Karie Angell Luc is a freelance photographer and reporter for Pioneer Press.
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