There are two words that make every Catholic child’s eyes light
up with delight: Doughnut Sunday. They
run from church to peer into the boxes of sweet pastries, weighing the merits
of powdered versus glazed, chocolate or strawberry frosting, cream or
jelly-filled. They gulp down their selection with plastic cups of juice or milk.
Parents chit-chat over coffee as the kids dance and run around, high on sugar
and the excitement of seeing friends.
Parishes around the diocese host after-Mass breakfast gatherings,
but each church varies in how often they occur, who organizes them and where
the doughnuts are purchased.
“They’re the finest in the metro area, and as big as your head."
Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna’s dedication to Doughnut
Sunday might take the cake.
The parish provides doughnuts after five Masses on the first
Sunday of the month, all except the evening Mass, said Charlie Richie, the
parish’s self-proclaimed “Doughnut King.” They order anywhere from 50 to 75
dozen donuts and provide gallons of coffee, orange juice and water. The parish
Men’s Club hosts the event, along with a different parish ministry every month.
“It’s quite a production,” he said. Richie has been serving doughnuts
for more than 10 years, and he’s gotten the process down to a science. He’s
even helped neighboring St. Mark Church in Vienna launch its own Doughnut
Volunteers pick up the doughnuts the night before. Tables are set
up and coffee is brewed. Doughnuts are placed on the tables with the least
popular in the front, and most popular, usually chocolate and Bavarian cream,
on the ends. Then, they spend the whole morning passing out doughnuts, wiping
down tables, taking out the trash and doing it all over again when the next
Mass lets out.
The group proudly serves doughnuts from Shoppers Food, said
Richie. “They’re the finest in the metro area, and as big as your head,” he
St. Joseph Church in Herndon also serves Shoppers doughnuts as a
fundraiser for the school’s parent teacher organization.
Sacred Heart Church in Manassas opts for ones from Harris Teeter
for their almost weekly event, serving around 27 dozen of the pastries.
St. Rita Church in Alexandria buys Krispy Kreme doughnuts, with a
few bagels and croissants thrown in for good measure. The American Heritage
Girls of the parish are in charge of providing the doughnuts for two morning Masses
on the first Sunday of the month. As with Our Lady of Good Counsel and Sacred
Heart, all donations go toward picking up doughnuts for the next Sunday.
Heritage Girl parents such as Leigha Doerrer help the girls
manage the popular event. “It's cute to see how much they love it, to help
out,” she said. The girls always vote it as one of their favorite service
projects of the year.
“I like serving people their doughnuts because they’re always
happy to have them, and I love giving them to little kids,” said Lilly
Rutherford, a sixth-grader at St. Rita School.
“I love putting donuts onto the plates and talking to people as
they walk up,” said second-grader Lena Doerrer. “I say, ‘Thank you for coming
Pastor Father Daniel N. Gee started Doughnut Sunday at St. Rita
three years ago, though he admits that he prefers bacon to doughnuts. “It’s
important because people really enjoy talking to each other after Mass,” he
Richie likens Doughnut Sundays to milling around the potbelly
stove of a country store in yesteryear. “It’s really given us a sense of
community,” he said. “Families, singles — everyone gathers there to have a doughnut
and get to know one another.”