Every Friday for more than a decade, St. V in partnership with Our Lady of the Fields (OLF) parish has hosted a huge dinner for all comers in our undercroft. Usually aroud 200-300 people show up. OLF organizes the food, and St. V provides the space.
While all involved would agree this ministry has been a wonderful success, there has been little agreement on its name. People have called it everything from the undignified “Friday Night Feeding” to the undescriptive “Friday Night Ministry.”
This month the organizers have officially named it “Breaking Bread With the Hungry.” This reflects the true nature of the event. As Deacon Ed Stoops of OLF says:
The term breaking bread is used in Acts to refer to the Eucharist. Our mission statement explicitly says our mission flows from the Eucharist.
The term the hungry excludes no one. We are all hungry. We are born hungry. In addition to hunger for food, we all hunger for acceptance and love. The term also includes Jesus who said, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat.” Whether we prepare the food, serve it or eat it, we are all the hungry.
Father Ronchi in his retreat for the Pope and others in the Vatican, recently said “Some people are so hungry that for them God cannot but have the form of a loaf of bread.”
For both volunteers and diners, the meal is typically a joyful commotion, where the ups and downs of the lives of our guests surface as they enjoy dinner out after a long week. Every week has a little different vibe. OLF has produced a video for its website that captures the essence of Breaking Bread With the Hungry. Check it out.