NEW ORLEANS – The church pews are packed.
Packed with people from around New Orleans who fry the catfish. And people who make martinis. And people who do the dishes.
They’re the people who have jobs in restaurants and bars in New Orleans. They’re the people in the hospitality field.
WGNO News with a Twist features reporter Wild Bill Wood is at St. Louis Cathedral for what’s called the Olive Mass, created to pay tribute to folks in the hospitality industry.
New Orleans was the first city in America to celebrate what’s called the Olive Mass. And this is the second year for the sacred service.
Local priests wanted to celebrate food. And not just celebrate the food. They wanted to celebrate and bless the hands that make the food.
The Catholic church has other services that recognize other professions.
There’s the Red Mass that recognizes lawyers and others in the legal profession.
There’s the Blue Mass. You probably figure what that recognizes. The Blue Mass is for cops and people in law enforcement.
And there’s a White Mass. The White Mass is for doctors, nurses, surgeons. The White Mass is for people in the medical field.
And now Olive Mass for olives and the color olive and the fact New Orleans restaurants and bars use lots of olives.
Archbishop for the Catholic Diocese of New Orleans, Archbishop Gregory Aymond is the main man at this special mass.
It follows along traditional lines of traditional Catholic masses. And it follows traditional Catholic liturgy.
All priests involved say it’s a way to say thank you to the men and women who work nights, weekends and holidays so the rest of us can enjoy those same days having meals at restaurants around New Orleans and in fact around the world.