School community gathers for fish and conversation during Fish Fry

(Left to right) Andrew Hunt, Jake Fitzpatrick, Anthony Zangara, Noah Evers serve. Photo | Nick Sanders

As the Lenten season begins, the St. Louis U. High community welcomes the annual Fish Fry with great excitement. Traditionally, the Fish Fry brings people from all over together for a delicious meal. The Fish Fry the last two years had been adapted to fit the COVID protocols, but this year’s event marked a return to normal. People greeted by a joyful and speedy crew of students there to serve. Live music played throughout the night, and a focal point of the Fish Fry came from the drink and dessert counters.

Organized by campus minister Julie Lewis and spearheaded by members of SLUH’s pastoral teams, the Fish Fry featured students to helping run the kitchens, serving lines, the dessert table, drinks table and more.

“I thought the Fish Fry was a great success!” said Lewis. “I was shocked at how many student volunteers came to help this year. We had so many pastoral members willing to stay after school and help in whatever way possible. It was awesome.”

The Fish Fry helps introduce the Lenten season by giving those interested in fasting easy access to meat-free meals on Fridays.

“It’s a fun event each year that brings students, parents, alumni, faculty and old friends of SLUH back to campus for an STL Lenten tradition. The live entertainment helped keep the vibe relaxing and welcoming and the band was quite fun to listen to,” added Lewis.

Despite opening the Commons up to everyone, with the lightened Covid restrictions, those working the Fish Fry still felt the crowds were manageable, after the past two years of doing deliveries and curbside pick-up. 

“Last year, we did a lot more to-go orders, with the Covid year and last year, so previously we were offering you a lot more to-go orders,” said senior Ethan Keutzer. “However, for curbside pick up, you don't want to go outside doing that, and I think this year is nice to have everybody inside. We also had Jude (Reed) and his gang up on stage playing and I really really appreciate that because it really gave some ambience to the space.”

Everyone who attended the Fish Fry had waited in anticipation, and those at the drinks table, all of whom were seniors, were excited to serve at their last Fish Fry at SLUH.

“So I'd say this year was pretty successful. We had a lot of people show up, mostly teachers and their families, but there were also some students and their friends. It was good to see everybody and then it was nice to see all the workers, like myself and the other seniors, do a really good job” added Keutzer.

This year, similar to years past, there was live entertainment from SLUH students at the Fish Fry. The student led band that played at the Fish Fry, gained a lot of attention from all those who attended. 

“My band did last year, but this year it was more communal,” said senior Jude Reed. “But one thing that was pretty different, it was like a big jam session, at the beginning it was Leo Smith, Ryan Jackson, and I were playing. Klaus Jostlein also was with us, playing the violin. But we also had people from the crowd come up and play just cause it would be fun, people would just pick a song off the top of their head and we played it, at one point we even got a SLUH dad to come up and help, and I thought that was really cool.” 

The Fish Fry was able to make over 275 orders that night, and be a space for everyone in the SLUH community and beyond to gather and celebrate the coveted Lenten tradition.

“Overall I was really grateful for the success of the event and very thankful for the crowd we drew,” said Lewis.

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