Tag Archives: Oakdale

Guardian Angels a ‘big fish’ in fish fry bowl

February 23, 2016


Guardian Angels knows how to fill a plate, Fish Daddy found on his Feb. 19 visit. Courtesy Fish Daddy

Guardian Angels knows how to fill a plate, Fish Daddy found on his Feb. 19 visit. Courtesy Fish Daddy

Catholic Hotdish offers another review from Fish Daddy, who visits some of the hot spots in the Twin Cities for Lenten fish fries. He’s looking at more than the fish — it’s the fellowship, the friendliness and faith that makes this Catholic Lenten tradition shine.

Guardian Angels, Oakdale

If you’ve ever noticed the iconic steepled church on the hill after traveling westward into Minnesota from Wisconsin on I-94, you’ve seen Guardian Angels church. But if that’s all you’ve seen of the parish, like Fish Daddy, you ain’t seen the half of it. The parking lot was my first clue. Not unlike what I might find at a local hotspot. Cars everywhere, long walk to the door. Fish Daddy even wondered if neighbor Best Buy was taking some of the parking spots. More likely to be the other way round. When I saw the line, I had a flashback to concert ticket lines from my college days, where you bring a deck of cards. Prepare to be amazed at the spread the Guardian Angels Men’s Club puts on.


Guardian Angels serves up a generous helping of fried or baked cod, but it’s far from fish on a dish. My plate was adorned with baby red potatoes with a delicate coating, crisp sautéed green beans with trillion-shaped red peppers, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and — wait, I’m out of room on the plate. The dessert deserves its own sentence: It’s a petite, crenellated toasted tart shell filled with chocolate mousse and a berry. Clearly not your average fish fry. Why? The Chef. John Schiltz, chef-owner of the nearby Lake Elmo Inn, brings his restaurateur skills to the table for the parish, to delicious effect. And when you have the cuisine and élan of the Lake Elmo Inn on your bench, not much is left to chance. (four fish)


From the volunteer who opened the door, to those who rolled out dinner tickets, to the small army of volunteers festooned in Guardian Angels-themed fish dinner shirts, (not fish fry, as their tagline goes) it was clear this was a professional operation. With seating for about 400, there were helpers for coffee and soda, helpers for setting, helpers for clearing, helpers for dishing, a kitchen stuffed with food prep sous chefs, helpers for everything — except making the line go faster. And when that’s your only problem (it was at least a half-hour from door to table, and probably longer the later your arrival), then you have clearly mastered culinary management, and the limiting factor is your inability to open another Guardian Angels location! (three fish: service; one fish: wait time)

Fishers of men

Pastor Father Rodger Bauman was about, chatting with parishioners and nearly lost in the throng, which filled Peter O’Neill Hall and two overflow rooms. After the dinner, the parish prays Stations of the Cross, complete with ASL interpreter. It’s a fitting end to the evening, but you’ll want to return for the Lenten vespers service 7 p.m. March 6. They also have a healing service/sacrament of the sick 3 p.m. Feb 28. (three fish)


A hearty meal for those of us who have fasted on Friday is welcome, and the price matches the presentation. $13 gets those over 13 in the door, and take $3 off if you’re over 65. Youth 6-12 pay $6, and the under 5 crowd is always free. You can take out your fish as well. Yep, there’s a separate team for that, too. (three fish)

Guardian Angels is clearly a big fish in the sea of fish fries. And would you believe Lenten schedules on table napkin dispensers? They’ve also got a snappy website with not only the Lenten and Easter schedule, but events throughout the year. If you’re looking for a feast to break the fast, you only have two more chances: March 4 and March 18; 4:30-7 p.m.. Get there early, and let me know how your card game comes out as well!


Guardian-angels.org. 8260 4th St. N., Oakdale, MN 55128. 651-738-2223

Want Fish Daddy to visit your parish? E-mail CatholicSpirit@archspm.org.


Hungry for more? Fish Daddy reviews the fish fry at Holy Cross, Minneapolis

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Oakdale parish garden makes national calendar

January 19, 2012


A colorful photo of the harvest from the Parish Food Shelf Garden at Guardian Angels in Oakdale was chosen as one of the 12  pictures for the 2012 social justice ministry calendar of Catholic Charities USA.

Barb Prokop of Guardian Angels told The Catholic Spirit that the photo was taken by Chuck Kenow, a member of Woodbury Lutheran Church “who is a committed Tuesday session gardener with us and who was influential in getting the garden started at their church.”

According to Bob Walz, justice and outreach coordinator at Guardian Angels, the garden project involves some 300 volunteers. On a large plot on parish grounds, food is grown for area food shelves, a Catholic Worker house and the regional Loaves and Fishes program. Parishioners of all ages grow plants from seed, till the soil, weed, water and harvest the crops.

The food shelf garden is just one of a multitude of social ministries at Guardian Angels.

In an email, Walz wrote:

GA has a justice education program that includes JustFaith, Engaging Spirituality, JustMatters, Sowers Forums and leadership training. 

GA has an active outreach program that includes sheltering the homeless (Project Home), feeding the hunger (Loaves and Fishes, serving meals at Dorothy Day Center), caring for the sick (Befrienders and hospice volunteers, including writing memoirs of hospice patients), providing for the needy (Parish Food Shelf Garden, Giving Center, and monthly collection drives), blood drives, a military ministry and so on. 

GA also seeks to promote long-term change through advocacy, based on Catholic Social Teachings. We have a Peace and Justice Action Ministry, Respect Life Action Team, key children’s advocate, key hunger advocate etc. We have hosted the General Mills / Negro College Fund MLK Jr. Breakfast as well as an annual MLK holiday event. 

GA seeks to be in solidarity with those of other cultures, we have had a sister parish relationship with St. Rita’s in Teustepe Nicaragua for more than 25 years. We sponsor annual exchanges. We are a CRS partner, promoting fair trade, hosting regular Works of Human Hands fair trade sales and selling coffee and other fair trade products that benefit CRS and the artisans and farmers that have produced those goods. We host an Archdiocesan wide Filipino Mass, Cultural Celebration and Dinner on Santo Nino.

We respond to needs in the community, whether unemployment, when we created an employment ministry or individual foreclosures or eviction notices.

The recognition in the Catholic Charities USA calendar is icing on the cake. They’re a hit too. While there are none left to purchase, you can see the calendar here.



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