Our family didn’t do the traditional First Friday Devotion when I was a kid. Instead we had First Wednesdays.
On the first Wednesday of every month, we loaded our car with donated hot dishes (Midwest-speak for casseroles), Jell-O salads and cakes, and headed to St. Ben’s, a parish in inner-city Milwaukee that operated a soup kitchen for the poor and homeless. What had started as a first Communion service project became a monthly ritual for our family, one my parents continue to this day.
As a kid, I didn’t mind the long drive, or serving the meals to the guests, or even eating hamburger-rice hot dish for dinner. But my parents insisted our family go and sit among the guests while we ate. That was pretty uncomfortable for a suburban girl who only saw African-American people at the mall.
But it’s also what I remember most.