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Culinary Confessions: Venturing to the Holy Land

July 23, 2013 | Fr. Leo Patalinghug
Culinary Confessions: Venturing to the Holy Land

UPDATE: There are 5 spots left to register for the "Nourish Our Faith" Trip to the Holy Land with Fr. Leo in January. Contact Select Travel at 800.842.4842 today to register!

Venturing to the Holy Land

July 19, 2013

By Father Leo Patalinghug

“Culinary Confessions” encourage readers to explore different parts of the archdiocese and to taste the goodness of the Lord in restaurants near and far. It’s edifying to hear suggestions from readers about restaurants in their area, giving me a chance to explore some food finds. These reviews help me to learn about what makes the restaurant successful, observe how things can be improved, and relate these lessons to how we provide a “spiritual food service” at our churches.

While it’s a great experience to meet wonderful people and taste their cuisine, the challenge is actually getting to these places. I’d rather dine at familiar places. But, being challenged to step away helps me to see the bigger picture – the “catholic” or “universal” – even if it means driving to a different part of the archdiocese for my meal.

That spirit of adventure and the search for God through the gift of food encouraged one Catholic Review reader to reach out to me with a great idea: a Catholic culinary pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Edita Krunic owns a travel agency outside Philadelphia, specializing in trips to the Holy Land. Recently she met “Chefs for Peace” a group of Christian, Muslim and Jewish chefs. Despite the political tensions, Chefs for Peace show the world it’s possible to work together in one kitchen, prepare meals, and feed each other. Despite their differences, they show true faith by sharing the blessings of food, reminding us that peace is possible if we just come to the table hungry for it.

From this powerful experience, Kurdita thought of the work I do with Grace Before Meals, approached me with an idea, and now we’re inviting you – faithful foodies – to an experience of the Holy Land. “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” (Psalm 34:8)

The food and faith pilgrimage to the Holy Land is scheduled for January 19-29, 2014. The cost is $4095.00 including airfare, taxes, accommodations, professional guides and ground transportation, security, and exquisite meals – including cooking demonstrations of traditional foods and exploring the land that flows with milk and honey. (Exodus 33:3)

This unique trip provides pilgrims full sensory experiences of the sacred sites, opportunities for prayer and meditation, hands-on experience of the culture and cuisine, eat and celebrate with the locals, and of course many sacred moments to grow deeper in love with Jesus Christ and a profound respect for the land called “holy.” We will trace Jesus’ footsteps, marvel at the natural surroundings of his earthly life, and be fed – body, mind and soul.

We’re calling this a “Nourish Your Faith Pilgrimage.” The unique features of this trip will give each pilgrim a new insight into the Scriptures we read, helping them to savor their faith.

To reserve your space for this journey of faith, friendship and food, call Select Travel at 800.842.4842 or visit

Next Month’s Culinary Confession will honor barbecue with “Seoul” at Nam Kang Restaurant. Email me at