Alumni News | “I love being a priest.”

June 4, 2018
  • Nashville-2018-AN13

[Fr. Gervan Menezes, RE’2013]

May 4, 2018
by Andy Telli, Tennessee Register

At the Seminarian Education Dinner and Auction in recent years, one of the most popular items has been a meal prepared and served by Fathers Gervan Menezes, Dan Steiner and Michael Fye.

All three have been living at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, said Father Menezes, who worked in the food service industry before becoming a priest.

“Father Dan has a background in the food industry as well. We’ll cook and Father Michael will clean,” said Father Menezes, who will once again, with his fellow priests, prepare a Brazilian meal for eight that will be auctioned off at the Seminarian Education Dinner. “Father Fye doesn’t cook at all, but he’s a good cleaner.”

Besides his love of cooking, Father Menezes is happy to put his culinary skills to use in support of educating the diocese’s seminarians to show his appreciation for all the support he received as a seminarian from the members of the Serra Clubs of Williamson County and Nashville, who are co-sponsoring the dinner with the Tennessee Knights of Columbus.

“Every time I talk to them, I remember my seminary days,” Father Menezes said of the Serra Club members. “On the bad days I would open my mailbox and see a card (that said), ‘We’re praying for you.’

“When you’re in the seminary you’re far from home. … On a bad day, we would open that mailbox and see that card,” he added. “I told them you knew when it was going to be a tough day.”

The Seminarian Education Dinner and Auction, which will be held 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Hendersonville, raises money to help pay for the education of the diocese’s 23 seminarians so that the Catholic community of Middle Tennessee will continue to have priests to serve their spiritual needs in the future.

The total cost of educating seminarians is more than $1 million a year. The goal for this year’s dinner and auction is $325,000.

Father Menezes serves as the chaplain at Father Ryan High School, where he tries to give students a glimpse of life as a priest.

“I love being a priest,” he said. “I want students to know that and have them see, ‘I could live that life.’”

Another of Father Menezes’ loves is cooking. He grew up in Brazil helping with his family’s catering business, and before becoming a priest managed three sushi restaurants.

The dinner he’ll prepare for the auction will feature Brazilian favorites. It will be a multi-course meal with a variety of appetizers, bean soup, salads, rice and a lot of meat, Father Menezes said.

There will be chicken wrapped in bacon, pork sirloin, lamb, sausage and pork, Father Menezes said. Meat is a big part of a typical Brazilian meal, he said. The meal he be preparing will resemble those you might receive at a Brazilian steakhouse, he said. “That’s the whole experience they’re going to have.”

[This article originally appeared on]

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