My Apostolate of Parties, and Photographic Evidence of the Hooley

by | Mar 18, 2013 | Liturgical Living, March, Parenting, Parties, Saints | 10 comments

Happy regular ol’ day between two feasts!

Today I want to share some photos from the Hooley and also share why we have parties (aside from the obvious reason of us being pretty cool).

The husband and I got married, went on our honeymoon, and then immediately moved from San Diego to Northern California so that he could start business school.  Almost immediately after that, we were expecting our first baby.  The summer that Jack was born, a lot of things changed.  I went from working gal to stay-at-home mom (and no one was more surprised than I was), and we moved from married student housing to family housing.

Unfortunately, Bobby’s trap didn’t catch a leprechaun either.

It felt like we made a social move as well, from our married couple friends, most of whom both worked, to friends that had kids, and mostly a mom who stayed home.

But he left us some (chocolate) gold coins.

We wanted to stay connected to both groups, but still focus on our new little family.

He also made some mischief (that’s our kitchen table UPSIDE DOWN!).

So we started the Tierney Family Dinner Series.  We invited one or two couples or families over once a week for dinner.  We got to interact socially with grownups AND put the baby to bed at a reasonable time.  We had some really great times.

Hooley time!  Grown up food = corned beef sandwiches,
cheesy potatoes, cole slaw, Irish flag jello,
Irish cheeses, fruits & veggies.
Kid’s table = tater tots, chicken nuggets, sweet potato
fries, pirate booty, grapes, oranges, and peas.

And we soon realized that there was more benefit to it than that.  We realized that we were really evangelizing people, just by entertaining them. 

We also had plenty of treats.

They got a peek inside how our family functions, from inside our home.  We got to share hospitality and food and leisurely conversation.  Conversation that often drifted to important topics.

These two were neck and neck for best-dressed . . .
until THIS guy showed up!

I am convinced that my Catholic faith is True.  I am also convinced that it’s really, really fun.  We have fasts, but we also have feasts (A LOT more feasts than fasts, by the way).

So now, the Tierney Family Dinner Series has morphed into the Tierney Family Guided Tour of Feast Days.  We invite people (Catholic and not) to join us as our family celebrates the Marian feast days (usually all white food, or waffles!), St. Patrick (the Hooley), St. Joseph (Pasta alla Tavola), St. George (bangers and mash, knights and ladies), Pentecost (bonfire), St. Michael (no one will let me serve goose, so I serve chicken, and blackberries, and there’s a devil piñata), and the like.

We even invite people to join us for fast and abstinence days.

Sometimes it’s just one family, sometimes it’s nearly two hundred people.  But it’s always a lot of fun.

I want my Catholic and non-Catholic friends alike to know that regardless of whether or not the Catholic church can help you get to Heaven (it can), it’s also the best way to truly enjoy the life God has given us on Earth.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”  So we know it’s true because it’s IN THE BIBLE.  The Catholic church just goes so far as to tell us which specific dates those times are.  Helpful, right?

Jesus uses stories about parties to teach us lessons (the parable of the wedding party; the wise and foolish virgins).  And, of course, His own public ministry began AT A PARTY (the wedding feast at Cana) and involved making sure that everyone had enough to drink and no hostesses were embarrassed.

As advertised, the Hooley had singing . . .

My point being . . . parties are a great way to celebrate feasts and share them with friends.  So if you live in Southern California, you should come to our parties.  (Or invite us to yours.)  And if not, you’re just going to have to throw your own.

and dancing . . .

Keep it simple, keep it light, keep it fun, keep it moving.  I have more thoughts on HOW to throw parties, but those will have to wait for another time.  Update: you can now find those thoughts here.

and carrying on.

Because it’s been a busy day.  And because this is the last photo:


  1. Curt Dose

    Great party – highlight of the year. Thanks Jim and Kendra. Grandad

  2. Nanacamille

    It is such a great party…love being a part of it! The "GREEN" theme is carried out in such creative ways by hostess and guests alike and of course the kids are the cutest of all. Thanks to the culinary talents of Kendra Tierney and Aunt Michele Dose' (both English/German descent) the food is fantastic and takes you right to the Emerald Isle. Look forward to it every year.

  3. Christine

    As I've started to make an effort to observe more of the feasts (and fasts) of the Church, I've been inviting friends over to share special dinners as well. It's a great way to share the Faith. I would love if you wrote some posts on specific things you do for different feast days (like, why blackberries for St. Michael?), as I'm always looking for more ideas!

    Some events have 200 people?! I could never manage that!

    • Kendra Tierney

      Only the St. Patrick's Day party is that big and it's at least half kids! Crazy but fun. I do plan to do more posts on the liturgical year stuff. The reason I called this blog Catholic All Year is because that's what I planned for the blog to be about. But it turns out I MOSTLY want to talk about parenting and BBC shows that are available live streaming on Netflix. Who knew?

      For most of our parties I invite 2-4 families and we have a sit down dinner. Michaelmas is probably my favorite, or St. George, oh, or Wafflesdagen (aka the annunciation). I think the most important thing for my kids has been looking forward to doing the same things year after year. They are always disappointed if I try to mix up the menu or activities!

      The blackberries thing is that tradition says that when St. Michael cast Satan out of heaven he fell to earth into a blackberry bush and, um, soiled them. So blackberries are good all summer, but you don't want to eat them after Michaelmas because apparently, they'd be no good, any of them, until next year's crop. The ones at Costco have always looked fine to me, but one can never be too careful . . . :0)

      So we always do lots of blackberry stuff for Michaelmas.

    • Christine

      Great! Can't wait to read about some of your family traditions. (I eat up all the parenting advice, though, so I'm definitely glad you've been sharing a lot of it!)

  4. Amy Caroline

    This is so impressive! I have a phobia about hosting things. I literally freak out. It is not pretty. Awhile I back I even tried to say, ok once a month we will invite over another family for fun and dinner. Oh boy, it almost killed me. I love the idea of being a hostess, but I worry about how much food, how small our house is, on and on.
    So it is very impressive that you can host a party for 200 in your HOME! Wow!

  5. Anonymous

    Great, great idea! I'm going to try and do this (although maybe not for 200)!

  6. Lauren @ Breaking the Mold

    What a lovely idea! My husband and I have been struggling with feeling alone in a "new" (we've been here over a year now) city, and hosting dinner parties is a great idea to try building some friendships. We hosted a group over for the Super Bowl, but we really could try to do it more than once a year. I love our home and would be happy to share it with others. Thanks for writing. 🙂


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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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