A great fish-fry story

Published 5:32 pm Saturday, September 22, 2018

By Yolande Robbins

One of the most remarkable aspects of Vicksburg’s local history is the shared history of its three Episcopal churches: Christ Church, itself a historical genesis because it marks the place here of our first public worship; Holy Trinity with its almost palpable reach back to the Civil War and all that breathtaking art; and St. Mary’s Episcopal, home of the first certified black psychiatrist/psychoanalyst in the world, Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence, and host here in Vicksburg only two years ago to the Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, the first African American to serve as presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church.

And the one who married Harry and Meg!

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Now consider that all three of them are rooted in English history with the six wives of Henry VIII causing a crisis of conscience and politics for people like Thomas More and movies like “A Man For All Seasons.”

And one of those three sister churches in Vicksburg is having a fish-fry on Saturday, Sept. 29, $10, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., dine-in or take-out!

Quite the beginning to that simple fact, wasn’t it?

But everyday history and life is connected to a past just like this. Only 500 years later with people in cars instead of on horses. And at home in each other’s churches!

They even acknowledge the Catholics as cousins, first cousins, at that, and just down the street, if you will.

Now fish is the premier New Testament food. Manna is likely the Old. And in celebration of such ties is the fish-fry, exclusively at the Episcopal St. Mary’s on Saturday, to raise money, to fraternize, and renew.

We all have small histories, as well as the large ones, that usually just bind and divide. So feeling the need to hook up again, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, is inviting Christ Church and Trinity and St. Mary’s Catholic, and all you Baptists, Methodists, and Muslims to come and partake with the rest.

So on days like this Saturday, we do away with divisions and come for a meal. And even those of us with fish allergies can double up on spaghetti! And cake!

I’m in somewhat a weird writing mood today, but I don’t want to let go by that St. Mary’s Episcopal has already become a grand tradition, and only location, for pancakes every Shrove Tuesday. Now, it’s extending its calendar reach. And the rest of us can only be glad. It’s not just the food; it’s the history too. Strong ties to the Jackson Street Y!

Though all of our churches have similar days and ways for raising money, St. Mary’s Episcopal is main-town and mid-stream. It just stands out. You can’t miss it.

You shouldn’t.

And one of the stories I’ve often heard is that an early Episcopal mission was to help pare down the unrefined tenor of many non-Episcopal churches. I don’t know about that though. I went to their Easter Vigil.

Didn’t seem like much paring down.


Yolande Robbins is a community correspondent for The Vicksburg Post. You may email her at  yolanderobbins@fastmail.com