Ordination Weekend: The Making of a Feast

Mr Ralph Pieniazkiewicz

There has been a lot of talk about the food that will be served at the wedding reception for William and Kate, so we wanted to get the scoop on the food preparations surrounding Ordination Weekend, as part of our continuing exclusive coverage. We went and got an exclusive interview with Mr. Ralph Pieniazkiewicz, the head chef at Moreau Seminary. He and his staff work tirelessly to prepare the food for the weekend, since as Fr. Pat Neary, C.S.C., the previous Rector of Moreau Seminary, liked to joke about Ordination Weekend in Holy Cross: “We pray, and then we eat. Then we pray some more, and then we eat some more.” It’s not too far from the truth!

Ralph and his staff are only a few of the many people, mostly lay men and women, who make ordination weekends in Holy Cross possible. Without them, these weekends would not be the great celebrations that they are. Similarly, for those of us who are blessed to be priests and religious in Holy Cross, our priesthood and religious life would not be the great service to God that it is without the countless lay people who support us and empower us both in our community and in our apostolates. Without them, we would not be able to do all that we do. In a word, then, all the help and support they give us in celebrating these weekends is just the seed of all the help and support they give us in carrying our ministry.

With that heartfelt thank you to all our lay collaborators, on to the interview with Ralph and the unveiling of this year’s Ordination Reception Dinner Saturday night:

What is Ordination Weekend like for you and your staff in the Moreau Kitchen?
It is like a big wedding reception – except it is going on all weekend.

How many of you does it take to prepare all the food?
For the big meal on Saturday, we will have about 25 people around here helping us. And we have to start prepping on Wednesday for the weekend, as it starts Friday night with dinner and runs through the Sunday night cookout. But it is a great chance for us to shine and show what we can do.

How does Ordination Weekend stack up with the other weekends during the year?
It is definitely the premier weekend here.

What do you think about this year’s menu?
Some of the items are a little simpler than some things we have done in the past, but I think it is going to taste real good. It is real good stuff.

And so what is this year’s big menu?
Appetizer on the Table: Tai Spinach Dip with Pita Chips
Swiss and Cashew Tossed Salad with a Bacon wrapped Shrimp
Beef Brisket with Chimichurri Sauce
Tandori Chicken with Basmati Rice
Green Beans with Lemon Zest
Assorted desserts
Mr Philip Wenzel

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