Forming Community, One Happy Stomach at a Time
St. Augustine taught his monks that they should always seek to be "One mind and one heart, on the way to God." It is sometimes joked that St. Augustine should have also added, "and one stomach!" Because one of the things that Augustinians do very well, is eat! This is reflective of the Order's charism of community life, which naturally lends itself towards the celebration of meals to get everyone together.
St. Patrick's Parish in San Diego recently celebrated two food-themed events to bring parishioners together. The first was held at Pete's Seafood and Sandwich, where the faithful were invited to come out and enjoy a meal together, with 20% of the proceeds going to support the parish. Local Augustinians from other communities also came out to to join the people and to support the endeavor- enjoying New England inspired foods such as lobster roll sandwiches, clam chowder, and fried calamari.
This event was followed up by a food truck event over the weekend which was lead by the Young Adult Group of St. Patrick's, and they helped to welcome passersby who stopped onto the grounds to enjoy a meal or quick-bite. According to pastoral administrator Fr. Carlos Medina, OSA, both events were part of a drive to help parishioners to "form community" with one another, as well as reach out to the wider North Park neighborhood. Families were encouraged to bring canned goods for the poor as they arrived. The food trucks included items such as pizza cones, sushi burritos, Turkish food, and shaved ice cones. One happy discovery was that the event was a great way for the Saturday Vigil Mass community to stay on the grounds and celebrate a parish event- which so often fall on Sunday mornings.
In true Augustinian fashion, stomachs were filled and people were very pleased with both events.