Twenty-four meal guests dining in the
coziness of the dining room at Casa San Salvador.
During the late afternoon and evening of Saturday, October 8th, Franciscan Mission Service (FMS) board member Evelyn Mercantini and her husband John hosted a group of their closest friends at FMS for “A Harvest Gathering.” Since joining the board of FMS in February of 2011, Evelyn has been very active in her support for the mission and programs of the organization. Thus, the pleasant autumn day was a wonderful backdrop for her recurring idea to share her passion for the organization with her dearest friends.

FMS Returned Mission and former Program Director Beth Riehle
captures the attention of her table during a pause between courses.

After touring the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, the group of friends strolled over to Casa San Salvador for a peaceful evening of prayer, camaraderie, and dining. First, the group celebrated Mass with Fr. Joe Nangle, OFM and was inspired by the musical reflection of FMS mission candidates Kitzi Hendricks and Michael Redell. Next, the group embarked upon a five course, mainly organic meal coordinated and cooked by Kim Smolik, Executive Director of FMS. The meal consisted of wine and cheeses; savory seasonal squash soup and homemade croutons; an apple harvest salad with toasted walnuts, apples, blue cheese, and an apple cinnamon vinaigrette; a main course consisting of roasted dijon chicken, sweet potato puree, and honey roasted brussel sprouts; and three kinds of cheesecake for dessert. (Links to some of the evening’s recipes are found below.)

Evelyn’s and John’s guests were joined at dinner by mission candidates (Kitzi Hendricks and Michael Redell) and FMS returned missioners (Beth Riehle, Katie Mulembe, Kristen Zielinski-Nalen, and Rhegan Hyypio), as well as FMS board members, staff, and volunteers. As one highlight of the dinner, returned missioners presented heart warming stories of their ministries.

FMS board member Fr. Joe Nangle, OFM (far left)
sharing with his dinner companions.

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to this special event!
For more information about some of the recipes at “A Harvest Gathering,” you may click on the links below:
Written by: Matt Lorch