By Fr. Ed Eherer, C.Ss.R.
Toronto. Just before Valentine’s Day, 20 married and engaged couples sat down to a candlelit dinner-for-two, accompanied by romantic music playing in the background. The menu included a delectable antipasto, pasta al’Arrigo, stuffed Cornish hens with vegetables, all topped off with a decadent Double Diablo chocolate cake. But this fabulous dinner wasn’t being served at a toney, five-star restaurant, but rather at St. Patrick’s parish hall in downtown Toronto.
This year marks the 9th Table for Two dinner at St. Pat’s. Besides sharing dinner, couples were also encouraged to share their thoughts and hopes and dreams for their marriage with their spouse. As each course was served, couples would also be given questions to spark a conversation on various aspects of love and marriage. For some couples, this was their first Table for Two; for others, they have attended this event for many years. In fact, for one couple it was their 8th dinner.
Table for Two was the creation of Fr. Santo Arrigo CSsR, who wanted to put a faith-spin on the whole Valentine’s Day thing. For Fr. Santo and St. Pat’s, this is an opportunity to celebrate something important, Christian marriage.
Besides planning the event, Fr. Santo also employed his extensive culinary skill as head chef, assisted by an impressive kitchen staff of avid volunteers from the parish. Even the Redemptorist formation house got involved, with Fr. David Louch CSsR acting as M.C., and Fr. Ray Douziech CSsR and the students Alfredo, Antonio, and Luis waiting tables. Long-time parish musician Albert Masters shared his extensive repertoire of love songs to provide the right atmosphere for the couples.