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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Food and fraternity brings parish together in Inner West

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St Joan of Arc Catholic Church - The Catholic weekly
Photo taken from the St Joan of Arc parish website.

From meaty delicacies to decadent desserts, a feast day of a beloved saint calls for exactly that—a feast!

And so, more than 30 parishioners from St Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Haberfield have fittingly marked the occasion of their inaugural Parish Dinner Club with a lavish French banquet on the very same day commemorating their community’s saint on 30 May.

From French onion soup, duck liver parfait and baked salmon cocotte, to pan seared barramundi, fondue, mussels, clams and confit pork belly, parishioners across generations bonded over food and faith at the Bistro Cocotte in Haberfield.

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Between petit fours, ice cream and crème brûlée, those with a sweet tooth were also keenly satisfied.

The night ignited what organisers hope will be one in an ongoing series of monthly dinner meetings at rotating restaurants designed to inspire an active parish life among church attendees.

“I suppose it’s another way to evangelise that’s quite different to just going to Mass,” Rhonda Albani, a member of the parish’s events and welcome committee, told The Catholic Weekly.

“There’s a lot of community building that comes out of something like a dinner club, and what better person to look to for inspiration than our parish namesake.

St Joan of Arc Catholic Church - The Catholic weekly
Parishioners enjoying dinner for the feast of St Joan of Arc. Photo: Supplied.

“We’ve probably been an older community here in Haberfield for the last 30 or so years, but there’s now a lot more younger ones coming into the parish, which means we want to build our church for the future.

“It’s encouraging for young families with children to be here, but we hope also for them to be quite interactive with the older members of the parish. The church is about being one across an intergenerational link.”

The committee’s initiatives are the fruits from the parish’s synodal consultations in 2023 where they determined the need to enhance church activities and companionship between the various sections of the parish and different age groups.

Part of that mission has also been to rebuild the active relationship between the church and the St Joan of Arc Primary School, which was on full display on St Joan’s feast day also as students together with parishioners paraded from Federation Place in Haberfield to the church, before morning tea.

“It’s very much in the spirit of our parish to want to engage with the community and outreach,” said St Joan’s pastoral associate Alf Tornatore.

“It’s also always great to have fun while doing that.”

The parish this year will also celebrate the 70th anniversary since establishing its larger church site in Haberfield.

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