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Breakfast, a Bishop and Bigfoot.

Posted: May 27, 2015 | Author: jhansbrough

When I think of Saskatchewan, Canada, obviously, the first thing I think of is...Bigfoot!  Sorry folks, but it's true!  Of course, when I arrived to the Prairies of Canada, specifically in the Diocese of Prince Albert,  Bigfoot was nowhere in sight.  But instead, I did discover people with very big hearts!


Group pic with a family from this past weekend. 


I was so honored to introduce the Grace Before Meals message to the good people of this Diocese. It was Bishop Albert Thevenot's idea to bring me out to help them kick off a weekend that focused on the family. How providential to have this family-focused weekend on the same weekend as Pentecost -  the "birthday" of the Church as God's family!


Sacred Heart Cathedral in Prince Albert, Canada


This brings me to a pastoral point, or rather, a reminder for all of us busy doing the Lord's work:  If we are too busy doing church "things" that it's pulling our family apart, then we need to slow down our church activities - no matter how well-intentioned these may be.  I remind pastors that trying to provide for different types of groups can sometimes have a negative effect on the overall mission of the parish, which is to strengthen families, not pull them apart!  Consider how youth groups, women's groups, men's groups, seniors, and young adults (all worthy focus groups for the parish) are so often held on different days of the week, leaving hardly any opportunity for families to have a full day together. On top of the parish busyness, what does the parish offer to help bring them together?  It seems that churches and Dioceses, and even "family day" events are NOT bringing families together, as they make an honest but unsuccessful attempt to appeal to the different generations.  


A number of people from different generations line up to sample my Penne alla vodka this past weekend. 


That's where Grace Before Meals comes into play.  I'm grateful to say that we are one of the only apostolates that has a practical, easy to use, and successful rate in bringing families together for an event.  Why? Because Grace Before Meals is NOT a "program" but a "mentality" to re-program our minds and hearts to what is most important in family life: spending time together. 


A family doing it right: eating together.


I was so proud to hear how the Bishop and his team of people realized that supporting the family's togetherness was a Diocesan priority.  I hope it's yours too!  Part of the success of this past weekend was the caring heart of Bishop Thevenot.  He demonstrated true pastoral zeal for the family, desiring to feed them - body, mind, and soul.  He attended ALL of the sessions to show his fatherly love just by his presence.  On top of that, Bishop Albert did a "first" for a Grace Before Meals event:  he cooked for me!  The recipe for his Stuffed French Toast is HERE. 


Bishop Thevenot cooking his Stuffed French Toast. Click the image for the recipe!


Overall, it was a wonderful experience of the Canadian Prairies.  While your visit may not include a meal prepared by the bishop, I recommend that you visit a delicious modern restaurant called "Signature 22" in the Ramada Inn Hotel. Chef Neil has re-created some of his traditional Scottish cuisine, like haggis and scotch egg, taking them to a whole new level.  He cooks exciting dishes, like the "Zach Attack Burger" dedicated to his son, which combines the sweet and savory ingredients of peanut butter and bacon! It's definitely worth a visit while in the Prince Albert area.


Chef Neil and I. Striking resemblance, right?


Since the Church has moved into the "ordinary time" of the liturgical calendar, I hope this becomes a time for families to make an extraordinary effort - like the Diocese of Prince Albert - and do something to celebrate and strengthen their family units.  And, if you're as serious as the Bishop and the Diocese in that area, you should know that Grace Before Meals is the best way to feed your hunger for family togetherness! CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR GRACE BEFORE MEALS FAMILY EVENT.


Let us pray 

May the Holy Spirit continue to pour out His grace on our families, so that we can truly manifest the prayer of Jesus - that all will become one - beginning in our own hearts and in our own families.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Food for Thought:

(1)  Have you experienced a Grace Before Meals event?  If so, how has that changed your family's dynamic?

(2)  Does your diocese have a "family day" and if so, what does it do to bring the family together?

(3)  Has a bishop ever cooked for you? And if so, what did he make?