Fish fry at St. Joseph Church in Cleburne

North Texas Catholic
(Feb 20, 2024) Local

St. Joseph Church parishioners Tom Spalding, John Huff, and Tim Berry prepare hushpuppies, fries and catfish on February 19, 2024. (NTC/Matthew Smith)

CLEBURNE — “Welcome to St. Joseph's,” parishioner Nancy Passalugo said. “We have the best catfish and desserts in the U.S.”

 Passalugo, who has volunteered to work the parish's annual Lenten fish fry check-in table for several years, said she enjoys the Friday excitement of good music and meeting the nicest people.

 “Great food, but this is really about bringing the parish and community together,” Passalugo said.

 Agreed, parishioner Steve Talavera said.

St. Joseph Church parishioners Kristi Havens, left, and Sandy Berry serve up fish, fries, and hushpuppies at St. Joseph Parish in Cleburne on February 19, 2024. (NTC/Matthew Smith)

 “People from the parish come,” Talavera said. “People from Cleburne who aren't members of the church come and that's my favorite part, seeing that community interaction.”

Catch of the day: Catfish

Sides and how they rate: French fries, hushpuppies, and coleslaw. All great, especially the hushpuppies.

Vibe of the crowd: Small but growing crowd shortly after the doors opened. Some stop in for take-out while others eat there. Friendly atmosphere with several running into old friends. Several younger parishioners, confirmation students, are on hand to serve drinks and help out. 

The kitchen is busy but there's still time for fun and kidding around. This is a parish but also a neighborhood event with several saying they've been volunteering and/or showing up to eat fish for several years running.

What to know: 

  • St. Joseph Church 807 N. Anglin St., Cleburne.
  • $10 for two pieces of fish, fries, slaw, and hushpuppies, plus coffee, water, or tea.
  • $7 for a small plate with one piece of fish.
  • A variety of desserts available for 50 cents each.
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