Our Lady of Exile
February 1, 2024
The law and mental health
February 1, 2024

Potluck and the gift of fellowship

Food has long been a common ground for bringing family and friends together.

A potluck is a communal gathering where each guest or group contributes a different homemade dish to be shared.

The potluck concept was brought to the parish of Tortuga by Janet Chinnia, who is now the Liturgical Coordinator following a spiritual retreat to West Virginia in the USA. Zealous and enthusiastic, she embarked on gathering all the knowledge needed about the event to take to her then parish priest Fr Jose Marie Thekkekutte MSFS.

Open-minded and a great advocate for community building, Fr Jose Marie eagerly listened and agreed that the event would be a great asset to the parish of Tortuga.

Being away from his family for so long as a visiting priest from India, Fr Jose Marie had a longing and desire for community-building within his parish. This desire was nurtured through his support for parish events held during the year.

A committee was formed using members from the seven communities of the Tortuga parish. This allowed for diversity of cuisine, sharing responsibilities, sharing ideas, and planning an event that will promote spiritual growth.

It was after the mid-morning Mass that ended at lunchtime when all the families brought out various homemade dishes to share. It was a family affair.

The potluck was held at Christmas time. The homemade meal choices that became part of the dinner listing reflected the unique background, culture, and heritage of the parishioners.

We have all been in situations where we see people regularly at church but truly have never gotten an opportunity to greet or converse with them at a deeper level. You may recognise faces but not even know their names.

Potluck remedies that, sharing food with one another ensures that we can slow down, sit, talk, and reconnect.

Last year’s potluck featured the usual Christmas fare with music from a DJ and live performances and, of course, dancing with the young and young at heart.

All had a wonderful time.

—Michelle Johnson