Volunteers Joan Gendron and Moe Tremblay were peeling potatoes to prepare for the 26th annual Christmas dinner for the needy at St. Joe’s in Langley. Black Press photo

Feeding the masses at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

Langley church expects to feed up to 300

Volunteer Moe Tremblay has been helping prepare the annual Christmas dinner at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for 15 years.

On Christmas Eve, he joined about a dozen other people in the Langley church kitchen to peel potatoes, chop carrots and do other prep work for a dinner that was expected to feed 250 to 300 people.

Why does he do it?

“Because it says in the Bible, you’ve got to feed the hungry,” Tremblay explained, as he lugged a giant pot full of peeled and chopped potatoes onto the stove.

Tremblay said there are different types of hunger, including a hunger for social connection that the dinner also feeds.

Another volunteer, Kathy Gendron, was working on three different types of cranberry sauce, “plain, pomegranate and orange spice.”

A quick taste test determined the plain sauce was just right.

“Not too sweet,” Gendron said, giving it a thumbs-up.

Initial preparations for the annual dinner began in early November, with parish members and community volunteers working to coordinate donated food, drinks and serving supplies.

Many were in the kitchen cooking Christmas morning while others helped serve the feast.

Besides a proper Christmas meal with all the trimmings, attendees came away with hand-knitted mitts and scarves, knitted by parishioners.

“It takes a lot of work to put it together,” Deacon Dan Ritchie said.

Ritchie said the dinner, now in its 26th year, got started by father Joe Ponti, who launched it as part of “Joe’s back door kitchen.”

READ MORE: Langley church welcomes volunteers, food for Christmas dinner

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


In a side room, dessert coordinator Elaine Ripka was sorting through donated home-made treats. Black Press photo

Volunteer Kathy Gendron gives an approving thumbs-up to one of three cranberry recipes being prepared for the 26th annual Christmas dinner at St. Joe’s church in Langley. Black Press photo

Just Posted

Langley Then and Now: 1940 school board meeting goes to 2 a.m.

Local history through news stories and old photos

Sunday Stories

Original works by Langley authors are published by Langley Advance Times every weekend

LETTER: Langley neighbourhood needs more trails

Rural qualities that made Langley special being lost in rapid development of Willoughby

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Wet’suwet’en supporters against pipeline block rail tracks in Vancouver, impacting Amtrak

Amtrak services cancelled, turning back at the U.S.-Canada border

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

BC Ferries gets injunction against demonstrations in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

The preemptive injunction is a ‘last resort in the interest of public safety,’ spokesperson says

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

Most Read