The Monrovia Knights of Columbus continue their long tradition of Lenten Fish dinners. — Photo by Terry Miller/ Beacon Media News

By Terry Miller

As is a tradition in the time of Lent, the Monrovia Knights of Columbus (KOC) kick off their annual fish dinner, Friday, Feb. 28 and will continue through April 10 which is also known as Good Friday.

Lent began Feb. 26, also known as Ash Wednesday. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebration of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. 

Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities. Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer and fasting. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to either the words, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return.”

The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving and denial of ego. This event is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed and Roman Catholic Churches.

The KOC is a global Catholic fraternal service organization. It is currently led by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. In addition to its charitable and political work, KOC is an evangelical organization whose members pledge to try to convert people to Catholicism. Membership is limited to practicing Catholic men who vow to uphold the theological and social teachings of the church. Women may participate in KOC through the Columbiettes and other female auxiliaries, and boys may join the Columbian Squires.

The organization was founded in 1882 as a mutual benefit society for working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States. It has grown to support refugee relief, Catholic education, local parishes and dioceses, and global Catholic causes. The Knights promote a conservative Catholic view on public policy issues, including opposition to same-sex marriage, divorce, and birth control. 

The KOC offers affordable fish meals for lent starting at $12 for adults and $6 for children. The meal includes french fries or rice, salad, bread, coffee or tea and a dessert. The Knights of Columbus is located at 130 W. Pomona Ave. Call (626) 359-6489 for more information.

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