Seder Meal | April 5

Categories: Announcements, Events5.1 min read

March 6, 2023


Join us for this Ceremonial Meal where we honor our Jewish Heritage by remembering the Passover! This event will be hosted at Our Lady of Lourdes Church (Dobie) on Wednesday, April 5 at 7:00 pm.

RSVPs are preferred. Please call the cluster office at 715-234-2032, extension  2 by noon Monday, April 3rd.

We are also looking for volunteers for this event. Please contact Cathy Solum at 715-234-6874, text 715-651-2759, or email A signup sheet will be available in the Side Entry of Our Lady of Lourdes Church (Dobie).

Fun Facts about the Seder Meal:

Here are Six things that the Seder Meal is:

  1. The traditional Passover week dinner was celebrated by the Hebrews since the Exodus.
  2. The Passover dinner.
  3. Bible Study in a family setting using all 5 senses to make the study an unforgettable event.
  4. That famous dinner called the Last Supper was hosted by Jesus for his disciples.
  5. The feast of Unleavened Bread.
  6. The basis for the early Church’s Lord’s Day worship service. Referred to as the Agape Feast and the Eucharist. Agape is the Greek word for love. Eucharist is the Greek word that means give thanks to God.

We honor our Jewish heritage by remembering the Passover and we celebrate Jesus giving us the Eucharist on that night. Our Lady of Lourdes began celebrating the Seder in 1976, which was our centennial year. Our then pastor, Father Kraker along with our historian Martha Mullen and sacristan Marguerite Howarth researched the ceremony, the prayers, and the food to be prepared and eaten at this celebration.

There were very few resources available at that time. One was a pamphlet called The Paschal Meal from Abbey Press, another was a program called The Seder Meal published by the Liturgical Commission of the Dioceses of Savannah, Georgia.

The first Seder Meal was held at the rectory at Father Kraker’s dinner table, with about 8 people in attendance.

Wow, 8 people at the table! We have certainly grown over these 46 years! We continue to use the same format, program, and recipes in an effort to keep the Seder authentic. When I spoke with some of the women who have been Chairpersons of the Seder they all told me that keeping the Passover traditions and making each seder elegant was their priority. White table cloths and linens,  they used crepe paper for purple table runners but soon changed to ribbon because spills on crepe paper are messy! Pussy willows, early spring flowers, greens, and candles burning.

Oh yes, it is a beautiful setting!

Each year more people got involved and participation continued to grow, in recent years we’ve seated One hundred or more. Many people have taken various roles over the years. Just finding the special foods turned out to be a challenge. The Matzo ball mix for the soup was sent from California by Ruth Lapacinski daughter. Eventually, it was found in Eau Claire, now we can get everything we need here in Rice Lake or Amazon.

For about 5 years Regina Tomesh and Bill Denison made the Unleavened Bread. Jack and Kathy were a driving force behind the Seder Meal for over 20 years, Jack still works with us. The first year I got involved I arrived the day before for prep work, cutting up the whole chickens was one of the jobs getting done. Jack was already there standing at the kitchen island he said  “I’m already”—he held up a cleaver and hammer!  We buy our chickens cut up now.

We love our volunteers!
Remember Martha Mullen from the first Seder Meal? Her daughter in law Janet Mullen became very involved in Seder. She eventually took the dining room chair and brought her daughter, Cathy, and her niece Janice into the volunteer work force. Soon Cathy and Janice were taking the lead and brought their daughters to work with us. I was privileged to witness three generations of ladies setting the tables for Seder on more than one occasion. Helene and Dorothy Sirek, sister in laws, volunteered to fix the fruit cups we serve for desert. Again Helene’s daughter Jackie came to help us back in 2004 and stayed a good twelve years. As you can see this mother daughter thing happened a lot. We love our volunteers!
There are other jobs just as important like taking care of the linens , an impromptu shopping treasure. We used styrofoam bowls till the early “80”s. Remember the old Silver Lake Store near Cumberland? Milo and Elaine Scheffer were out for a drive and stopped there, Elaine saw ceramic soup bowls one hundred of them! Well they bought them all and brought them back to OLOL! Thankfully Father Teofilo approved the purchase, he also gifted the Seder Meal cause with beautiful long stem wine glasses for the head table. Soon the guests plastic wine glasses were replaced with glass.
Of course this replacement process continues today.
Until 1983 our guests had no program to fallow, so Carol Olson using the same resources mentioned earlier and with the help of Father Teofilo put the program together and added the commentator roll. In 2015 Cathy Solum and I went over the program to make notes where the confirmation students had a job to do. In 1981 the confirmation students began serving the tables at Seder. The students needed hours of service and we needed help! What a perfect opportunity for all of us! Norb and Nancy Pintens brought and worked alongside the students for over 15 years.
In a family setting the youngest child asks four questions about the traditions of the Passover feast, we have a first communion student and his or her parents take this roll. They are seated at the head table and are a big part of how we honor one of our four parishes at the Seder Meal each year!
Please come and join us! – Marybell Lenz

Sharing the work!

The celebration of the Passover dinner has evolved over the years. In 2005 we took the Seder Meal to Haugen. All the supplies I mentioned earlier were transported to Holy Trinity. Then all the work to prepare and set up for and celebrate the Seder was done; now clean up and pack up and bring everything back to Our Lady of Lourdes (OLOL) to put away.

As you can imagine it was quite a late and intense night for all involved!

It was soon decided that the Seder Meal would stay at OLOL and we would honor one parish each year by seating them at the head table, and giving them visible jobs. A First Communion student and his or her parents are at the head table as well as a council member and spouse, a long-standing member of the parish to be honored, and finally, Father, who leads the ceremony. This is seven people seated at the head table and number eight is set and left empty for Elijah.

We also began sharing the work. Holy Trinity makes the Unleavened Bread each year. St. John’s makes the soup. OLOL makes the Matzo balls for the soup. Chris Knight from St. Joseph worked with Rita Nelson to cook the Lamb.

In 2019 the programs were again reworked. Chuck, Cathy Solum and their son Isaac created color-coded booklets for our guests to follow.
All are invited to come and help on Seder night, but remember everyone must be seated during the ceremony.

It’s a unique opportunity to help put on this amazing commemoration of the Passover meal and enjoy dinner with many fellow parishioners. You could work in the kitchen getting the chicken, potatoes, and vegetables ready, there are always dishes to do. We also need 5 or 6 people at the serving line, several waiters to put necessary things on the tables, and to clear used dishes, and of course there is clean up! You’ll be surprised to see many of our guests start clearing tables, it’s a sight to see how all this gets cleaned up and put away quickly and safely! We call it “ Restoring Order!”

Please come and join us!

-Marybell Lenz