EDMONDS — Members of Holy Rosary Parish prepared and served a turkey feast to several hundred homeless people at Matt Talbot Center in downtown Seattle November 23.
“The Lord says feed my hungry folks and we’re going to do it,” said Vic Osoteo, a member of Holy Rosary’s Knights of Columbus Council 12591, which organized the Fred Chomos Memorial Thanksgiving Meal.
Chomos, who died in 2010, was a Holy Rosary parishioner who helped start the annual dinner 34 years ago with the help of his wife Claudette, Osoteo said. Besides the Knights, Chomos was active in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Rosary.
Chomos “was one of those guys who didn’t want the limelight,” said his son, Brent Chomos, a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Bothell who helped in the kitchen for this year’s meal.
Parishioners prepared the meal — turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean salad, pies, rolls and cranberries — ahead of time. Then they rallied at Holy Rosary before heading to Matt Talbot Center, an addiction treatment program of Catholic Community Services of Western Washington that serves people experiencing homelessness.
Jesuit Father John Whitney, pastor of Seattle’s St. Joseph Parish, celebrated Mass at the center before Holy Rosary volunteers served the meal to about 400 people, Osoteo said. Another 120 meals were delivered to homebound or disabled people who couldn’t attend the event, he added.
When the annual meal began, it was more of a grassroots effort with a few families participating, Brent Chomos said, but it kept getting bigger and bigger each year.
About 10 years ago, the Knights took a more active role in organizing the dinner, Osoteo said. It takes three weekends of canvassing the parish to come up with the ingredients needed and the volunteers to cook it all, he said.
“It’s pretty impressive to see what gets donated and the people who show up,” Chomos said.
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