Photo by Dick Bass
Parishioners line up to fill their soup bowls St. John the Baptist Parish in Milwaukie.
Photo by Dick Bass
Parishioners line up to fill their soup bowls St. John the Baptist Parish in Milwaukie.
During Lent, parishes across the Archdiocese of Portland gather, often weekly, for humble soup suppers.

Suppers are typically on Fridays, when Christians abstain from eating meat; hearty vegetarian recipes abound.

Mary Hainley has been organizing Lenten soup suppers at Resurrection Parish in Tualatin for nine years.

“Lenten soup suppers are a great way for us to foster community,” she said.

Father Bill Moisant, Resurrection pastor, celebrates Mass at 6 p.m. and leads Stations of the Cross after the gospel in place of a homily. Then everyone gathers for soup, usually homemade. Some adventuresome parishioners even bake homemade bread to pair with the meals.

“By involving the different parish ministries, we encourage more people to participate and get to know what others ministries are working on,” Hainley said.

At St. Patrick in Canby, parishioners gather on Friday evenings for soup suppers and Stations of the Cross. Families are asked to sign up to either bring soup or lead the stations.

During the soup supper gatherings at St. Pius X Parish in Southwest Portland, organizers collect donations for Catholic Relief Service’s Rice Bowl program, the organization’s annual Lenten fundraiser.

Catholics in Waldport gather at St. Anthony Church on Fridays at 5 p.m., for Stations of the Cross, followed by supper in the hall.

Parishioners at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Southeast Portland are working their way through writer Matthew Kelly’s book, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, chapter by chapter. During Friday soup suppers, readers gather to discuss the latest chapters.