Grace before meals

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Friday 21, September 2007 | Category:   Clergy

Fr. Leo's Cookbook

If his production company can find enough sponsors, look for Fr. Leo Patalinghug and his Grace Before Meals program on a Public Broadcasting Service station next year. In the program, Fr. Leo, a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the director of pastoral field education at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, visits families and cooks with them. An accompanying cookbook of the same title links 50 homestyle recipes to the liturgical year, family milestones, and even life disappointments. It also includes scripture passages and essays about feasts.

Fr. Leo is no stranger to cooking. As a child he says he was “easily bored” and would help his mother in the kitchen. Later, while in seminary at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, he would cook for his fellow seminarians when he had the time.

The idea for the cooking show was born while Fr. Leo was cooking for some priest friends, one of whom said he wished he had a video camera to film the process. After being transferred to St. John Church in Emmitsburg, Fr. Leo teamed up with a parishioner and television producer to create the program.

Fr. Leo, who is also a break-dancer and martial arts practitioner, sees the show and cookbook as a “movement to bring God’s family back to his table,” he told Catholic News Service. He sees his vocation as a priest to “feed God’s children—body, mind, and soul.”

You can find out more about Fr. Leo’s project at The 2009 issues of the VISION Annual Religious Vocation Discernment Guide and Vocation Network website has a full length article about Fr. Leo.

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