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Dinner Discussion: Hungry to Help

Posted: November 11, 2015 | Author: Fr. Leo

Firstly, Happy Veterans Day to all of those who serve or have served in our United States military, making an inspiring commitment and sacrifice (sometimes, the ultimate sacrifice) to preserve our freedoms, and we ask that God blesses you greatly. Thank you!

Last week I spoke at a Gala to raise funds to support the efforts of the Diocese of Toledo Catholic Charities - which serves hundreds and thousands of people in the North West Ohio region each year.  The Bishop, Most Rev. Daniel Thomas, was my spiritual director during my years at the Pontifical North American College.  It was good to see him "in action" as he shepherded his people fed the flock, beginning with those who hunger for God's love.

Me and His Excellency, Bishop Thomas, my former Spiritual Director.

As one of his first official Episcopal Acts, he made visits to a sector of his Diocese that experience difficult challenges in life - those who need a helping hand.  He visited Helping Hands Community Center which feeds, cleans & clothes those struggling economically. Catholic Charities, who offers services and programs, including La Posada Transitional Housing, do the work of God, giving shelter and hope for those seeking a better life for their family.

Some of the great people who help to run Helping Hands in Toledo, OH.


The Gala itself was a fantastic opportunity to see the enthusiastic support for this great agency - the Bishop's "right hand" extending the Church's charity.

The Catholic Charities Gala was full of many supporters and individuals who had their lives impacted by Catholic Charities.

I was equally impressed visiting Central Catholic High School.

Fr. Matthew Rader with his altar servers before the Mass at Central Catholic.

These students and members of the John XXIII parish confirmation class heard a message about what it means to be a follower of Christ: we need to be fed by Christ and also be ones to feed the flock.

Sitting with the Confirmation class at John XXIII Parish. Can you see me?

It was easy to see how there are many people in the Diocese of Toledo who are hungry to help!

At one of the visits, the coordinator commented about one struggle: feeding people!  Some of the residents commented to her that they wanted something different to eat, other than meatballs.  Obviously someone had made a big donation of meatballs, and understandably people crave variety. So, I assured her that I'll send her a recipe to give the same meatballs three different treatments. 

A local company generously refurbished a kitchen that feeds up to almost 40 people including young families each night.

A man of my word, here are the recipes below. Click and enjoy!

Asian Dumpling Inspired Meatballs

Creamy White Wine Meatballs with egg noodles

Spicy Tail Gate Meatball Subs  (Makes 2-4 meatball subs)

In this season marked by a certain holiday that brings families back to the dinner table and aptly encourages us to give thanks (...obviously, I'm talking about Thanksgiving), we are in need of addressing those who go hungry everyday. While I can't prove this statistically, common sense and the observation of the obvious tells us that we waste more food that could feed the world's hungry for a lifetime.  What we need are more people to be hungry for justice, holiness and righteousness.

Thank God for the people of Toledo's Catholic Charities who are hungry to help!

This Catholic Charities volunteer has cooked for helping hands for over 20 years.

Let us pray: 

Father, we all hunger. But sometimes our hungers may make us more selfish.  We sometimes hunger for more and more, but do nothing to help those who hunger for the basics. Teach us Lord, by your Word and your holy example, to extend the charity of our faith in practical and loving ways. Bless Catholic Charities of Toledo, the people they serve, and those who are so generous with their talents, time and treasure. Bless those veterans who have served in the military to help protect our freedoms that you have granted us through Your love and mercy. May God be praised and the hungry be fed!  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Food for Thought

- How do you help the hungry in our world?
- What virtue do you hunger for the most?
- What's your favorite part of the Thanksgiving Meal?