The rules for fasting formerly in place for the Lenten season led to something practical: eating those foodstuffs before Lent that you couldn't eat during Lent. We feast before we fast. Thus we get certain traditions of "Egg Saturday," "Pork Sunday," "Collup Monday," "Fat Tuesday," of which only Mardi Gras seems to remain in our cultural imagination. We might see something akin to the Passover lamb, whose flesh could not be eaten the following day (cf. Ex 12:10).
Over the years at the Seminary, the celebration of Mardi Gras has evolved into an annual tradition celebrating foods from our diverse cultural heritages. Some of our seminarians, whether Vietnamese or El Salvadoran or Japanese or Moroccan (with lineages of various strengths), have prepared and shared food from those cultures with the entire community. Decorations often abound. As do smiles. It is only through these celebrations that many seminarians would ever have goat prepared according to the customs of Nigeria.
On account of protocols in the pandemic to keep the seminary a Covid-free zone, the celebration was moved to the prior week this year and was celebrated on Wednesday, February 17.
International Food Night is coordinated by the seminarians of the Rector's Advisory Council.