The Feast of the Ascension is traditionally celebrated on the 10th day before Pentecost. In many places these days it is celebrated on the Sunday before Pentecost so more people can attend Mass.
On this day we remember and celebrate the day, forty days after the Resurrection, that Jesus was taken into heaven, hidden from the disciples’ sight by a cloud. (Acts 1:9) Following His instructions, they returned to Jerusalem and spent the next days in prayer, until the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost.
One traditional way to celebrate the Ascension is to go fishing. Why? An ancient symbol by which Christians identified themselves and each other was a fish. The Greek letters that spelled fish (ΙΧΘΥΣ – ICHTHYS) could also be taken as the first letters for the words, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.
Going fishing is not always possible, however, so another way to celebrate is through a festive meal. A fish pie is a special treat.
Pie crust for a two crust pie.
3 Tbsp. margarine or butter
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Cup water
1/4 Cup white wine or light fruit juice
1/4 Cup onion, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley
Balsamic vinegar to taste (optional)
Salt, pepper, chili powder, thyme, tarragon, savory to taste
Tuna or other canned or fresh fish
Vegetables: Carrots, Green Beans, Peas, Corn or others liked by your family
Saute the onion in the melted margarine or butter. Add the cornstarch and stir. Add water and wine. Stir frequently as the mixture heats and thickens. Add the spices and mix well. When the sauce has thickened, add fish, boiled, cubed potatoes, and steamed vegetables.
Put the filling into an unbaked pie crust and cover with a top crust. If desired, cut a fish and some “rays of glory” into the top crust for venting.
Bake at 400º for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
Serve the pie hot, with a nice salad, a bit of sparkling cider, juice or wine, and a light dessert for a special family celebration of the Ascension.