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Sundae School

Sundae School

Ultimate ice cream sundae pie

It’s funny what we remember from school. I’ll never forget the poster that hung on the door of my third-grade classroom. It was a photo of a multi-layered, two-foot-tall sandwich and it read, “Life is like a sandwich - the more you add to it the better it becomes.” At the time, the poster made sense, but I don’t think I was greatly affected by it. Maybe it was hard to respond to such a lesson in the third grade since so much of my life was pretty much arranged for me. Or maybe the visual of a ridiculously tall sandwich that I could never get my jaws around, stuffed with ludicrous amounts of cheese, lettuce, and cold cuts, was just too silly for me to take seriously.

And yet, here I am, decades older, and not only do I remember the poster, but I also must acknowledge how its message resonates with me. In particular, I’ve found that getting involved in my parish is the greatest testament to the axiom on that poster. The more one puts into their parish life, the better it benefits them, their family, and others. Granted, becoming more involved takes time, resources, energy and faith, but the payback is enormous and in ways we never expect.

For example, my parents were involved in Marriage Encounter talks and teaching catechism. Not only did it deliver the intended benefit of helping to bring others closer to God, but it enriched their own faith and their marriage. It had the unintended and long-lasting benefit of equipping them to counsel their children with marriage matters and elements of catechesis.

In reflecting on their example, I can’t help but see how important it is to follow it in my own parish life. It involves more than just showing up regularly for Mass. Using the gifts that God has given me to serve the church means going out of my comfort zone to contribute talents and time.

Getting involved in the parish, whether it’s through Scripture studies, ushering, singing in the choir, working the pancake breakfasts, etc., puts you in touch with a group of people who share faith and a desire to support others. It kindles friendships and a sense of community.

Now, maybe a sandwich isn’t the best analogy for this theme. Too much stuff on a sandwich makes it unrealistically tall and, frankly, if we are trying to reach the attention of third-graders, there are other things that will resonate better. Like an ice cream sundae! Now there’s something that a person of any age would love. So I suggest the following treat to help today’s lesson sink in: “Parish life is like a sundae; the more we add to it, the better it becomes.”

Ultimate Ice Cream Sundae Pie

• Prepared chocolate cookie pie crust

• 1 pint vanilla ice cream (softened)

• 1.5 quart container vanilla, chocolate, strawberry ice cream (Neapolitan)

• ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

• ½ cup caramel topping

• Jar of hot fudge topping (warmed before serving)

• Can of whipped cream

• 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

• ¼ cup chocolate candies (minis)

• ¼ cup chopped pecans

• Rainbow sprinkles

Spread entire container of softened vanilla ice cream evenly in the bottom of the prepared pie crust. Pour the caramel topping over the ice cream layer. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the caramel. Cover and place in freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden. Remove from freezer. Scoop vanilla, chocolate, strawberry ice cream balls and arrange close together on top of frozen layers. Return to freezer for an additional 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Drizzle on warm hot fudge and top off (each piece) with strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate candies, pecans and sprinkles before serving. Enjoy!