by IREEN CROSSAN
Over the years, the Catholic Parish of New Plymouth, (formally St Joseph’s Parish), have found a popular fundraiser was to offer “Dinner With the Priests”.
The prize being an invitation to join the priests at the presbytery for a stupendous dinner, which would be prepared and served by the priests.
The funds were originally put towards travel for World Youth Day.
The parish is currently refurbishing the St Joseph’s church hall, which is situated underneath the church.
This is one of the largest halls in New Plymouth and is used by many parish and community groups. The TSB Community Trust contributed $30,000 in funding towards new flooring, replacing the fluorescent lighting with LEDs, and purchasing 160 stackable chairs.
Unfortunately, the funds did not cover flooring for the main body of the hall and so it is hoped the raffle will raise a further $4000 to complete the work.
It was decided to offer again “Dinner with the Priests” as a raffle with a difference.
Special envelopes were attached to the newsletters and were available in the churches. Parishioners were invited to put a donation in the envelopes and return to the office. The owner of the winning envelope will be entitled to invite five others to join them for “Dinner with the Priests”.
Winners will also be chauffeured by a generous parishioner to and from the event in a luxury Maserati car. It has been said that this is a highly sought prize!
All of the priests are skilled cooks and have their own signature dishes. The menu hasn’t been finalised, but it is likely to include a seafood delicacy of local paua or crayfish, Vietnamese cuisine, tiramisu and other indulgent desserts and Fr Joseph Saw Tha Khu’s “Wet tea”, which is nothing like wet tea (but it’s hot).
The other priests in the parish are parish priest Fr Simon Story, vicar forane for the Taranaki pastoral area Fr Tom Lawn and Fr Vui Hoang, who was ordained to the priesthood last year.