Three Generations: This 2016 photo from the 30th Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church Strudel Sale shows three generations of Mary Ann Rother’s family (in glasses), all of whom have regularly participated in the event.
Strudel Sale Details
The Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church Strudel Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 10, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 102 S. Ave G, Shiner. The oversized, unbaked confections cost $16 each and must be ordered before Nov. 10 by calling 361.594.3836 or by emailing email@example.com.
Three Decades of Strudel Sales & Counting
2018 marks the Strudel Sale’s 32nd year. The event started as the idea of a small number of parish members back in 1987. In the ensuing three-plus decades, it has blossomed into a community-driven event that draws hundreds of volunteers preparing and selling thousands of strudels each year.
A Calling in Community…and Strudels
At the time of the sale’s creation, Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner had found itself needing additional funds for its many programs and ministries. The small group of parishioners mentioned above, seeing great potential in the popular German confection for boosting their church’s budget and community outreach, formed themselves into the event’s first planning committee. They next began searching for the perfect strudel recipe.
A Strudel Sale Founded on Family
The committee discovered the perfect strudel recipe within the Shiner community. It came from Emily Patek, the matriarch of a prominent local family whose husband, Joseph Patek, Sr., founded a popular local grocery store that remains in business to this day. Mrs. Patek had passed the recipe to her daughters, one of whom—Barbara Lloyd—offered it for the church’s event.
Lloyd would oversee dough-making for the event through its first 25 years. Since her retirement, the Strudel Sale continues to use Patek’s family recipe. In addition to the homemade dough, the strudel filling includes fresh apples, sugar mixed with cinnamon, sweetened crumbs, coconut, pecans, raisins, and butter.
Strudel Sales Beyond Expectation
Longtime parishioner Mary Rose Barta has coordinated the Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church Strudel Sale since the beginning. “It takes a lot of planning and working together each year on the part of hundreds of volunteers to make this work,” Barta said.
For the past three-plus decades, the event has surpassed anyone’s expectations. In fact, in 2011, when the number of strudels sold hit 3,000, Barta and other event volunteers decided to trim things a bit. “We were delivering strudels all over South Texas,” Barta said. “It just got to be too big and cumbersome to coordinate.”
Volunteers still deliver a limited number of strudels to other cities. However, the majority of strudel pickups occur in Shiner, the day they’re made, with all orders placed in advance.
A Year for Repairs
The Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church Strudel Sale is always held on the second Saturday in November. Since 2011, it has averaged nearly 2,000 strudels sold each year. The actual strudel making happens at Shiner’s Knights of Columbus Hall, where the strudels are rolled out, filled, wrapped up and packaged. This year’s proceeds will be especially important as the church finishes replacing its roof and repairing damage sustained in Hurricane Harvey and during the 2014 South Texas Hailstorm.
Strudel-Based Community Tradition
Barta is thankful for her time coordinating the Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church Strudel Sale, but is ready to let somebody else take over. “There comes a time when you’ve got to pass it to someone younger,” she said, adding that she’ll continue to be involved “one way or another” as long as she’s able. “It’s time for new leadership,” she added.
To that end, in 2018, a committee of ten to twelve parishioners formed a “Strudel Committee,” working together to coordinate this year’s event. The committee extended its thanks to Barta for her leadership over the years. They also thanked the hundreds of volunteers who work each sale, as well as the pastors of Shiner Catholic Church over the years.
According to Barta, the present pastor, Rev. Bryan Heyer, is deeply involved each year and, like many of his predecessors, never hesitates to take up a rolling pin alongside other volunteers. “It takes a lot of people—parishioners as well as friends of parishioners—who voluntarily come to make this project work,” Barta said. “The parish is so blessed to have each and every one of them.”
Take & Bake Strudel-Based Camaraderie
“This event,” Barta said, “is about supporting our Church, while at the same time enjoying camaraderie and having fun as we work together for a common cause. And since we sell the strudels unbaked, you can store them in your freezer; when you want a fresh baked delicious dessert, simply pop one in the oven for about an hour, enjoy the enticing aroma, and it’s ready to serve.”
For more information on Saints Cyril & Methodius Church in Shiner, Texas, visit their website at www.sscmshiner.org.