Posted November 28th, 2012 | From the Feedbag

 Grace Before Meals in Public

In the upcoming Season of Advent and Christmas, we will all be invited to various dinner parties, banquets or meals. Before the meal begins however, there can be an awkward moment.  Does someone lead grace? And, what can be done to bring a little bit of God back to these festivities – especially since these are all celebrating (or preparing to celebrate) something holy. This “From the Feedbag” E-Blast responds to a question from someone seeking how to say grace in public, but in a way that invites people together, rather than separates us from each other. And, by the way, if you have questions for future “From the Feedbag” responses, click HERE.


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Dear Father, God bless you for your work…we are all the better for it!  Please see that attached email. For the past four years I have been the president of [a] company …and have instituted (did not ask for a vote) a tradition of praying before our banquets, birthday parties and fundraisers.  As my term has ended (and I missed a meeting), the group would like to eliminate this practice. (BTW I have never mentioned “Jesus;” I do reference the Hebrew Scriptures …but I do make the sign of the cross…can’t help that). Father, my goal is to bring the love of Jesus Christ to all I meet. And certainly a short prayer…”grace before meals”…is a lovely uniting practice.If you have any words of wisdom…I would be greatly appreciative.
Praised be Jesus Christ!

pk

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Dear “pk”,
Praying before you eat is a dying discipline and an unappreciated act of faith. It also speaks of a diminishing religious zeal and a lessening of manners. By voting NOT to say a little prayer, people inadvertently (consciously) think it’s not necessary to say “thank you” – to the farmers, ranchers, cooks or wait staff, much less God for the bounty they are about to receive.
The ‘unsung’ heroes of a recent church event in Ijamsville, MD – to help promote marriage and family. The organizers, Dr. & Mrs. Grabowski and members of St. Ignatius who helped cook, serve and clean for a fun and faithful event.
I can understand your angst about the “laws” and decisions forbidding a moment of gratitude and grace. Unfortunately, we are living in a world that is increasingly hostile to religion, uncomfortable with praying and downright ignorant of social graces during a meal. I find it commendable that you want to bring some structure and some spiritual inspiration to your dinner parties. However, as we approach a new era of angry secularism, we need to be as “innocent as doves and cunning as serpents” (Matthew 10:16) when it comes to bringing God back to our socializing, and bringing gracebeforemeals.com back to reality!
A young parishioner feasting on the Fusion Fajitas at an event in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Yes, he prayed before he dove right in!

Here are some suggestions that may help: (1) Instead of saying that you want to offer a prayer at a “non-religious” event, perhaps you can say that you’d like to offer a “few words of thanks and heartfelt remembrances,” or “inspired sentiments.” While this is “distinct” from a formal prayer, it provides at least some avenue in which you can offer a prayerful thought, even if it’s not a formal prayer.

Talk about a public expression of faith – people climbing the Holy Stairs Shrine in Rome on their knees.

(2) In this moment of sharing inspired sentiments (i.e., prayer), be sure to specifically thank “all those who made this meal possible,” including those who raised and farmed the food, prepared it, serve it, and all of us who celebrate our togetherness. By being “inclusive” in this prayer, we show how God uses human moments to make Himself present. It’s an idea similar to the prayer used at Mass, “Blessed are you Lord of all Creation, for through Your goodness we have this bread and wine to offer, fruit of the vine and the earth, and work of human hands, it will become for the bread of life, our spiritual drink.” By bringing humanity into the “conversation” (i.e., prayer with God), we get people thinking that saying “thank you” is a good, normal and appropriate thing to do at these social gatherings. 

Nighttime view of the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica – a center of faith, but also history, art and culture, and a tribute to human development collaborating with the Divine Faith. It still stands as one of the greatest places to visit.

(3) While there should be no reason to be ashamed of the Name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord, we have to be attentive and respectful to the plural expressions of faith and those of different religions. Perhaps you can conclude by praying in the name of “God who blesses us to become brothers and sisters – one world family – in the Lord.”  

The tomb of St. Cecilia, young martyr. The way her fingers are configured, showing a combination of “2 and 3” indicates that she died professing her faith in Jesus Christ, who was 2 Natures (human and divine) and part of the Trinity (Father, Son and Spirit).

(4) If offering a “few words of inspired thanks” still causes religious suspicion, a group leader, organizer or host of the gathering can offer a sentimental “toast.” A “toast” – a raising of the glass (like the way the priest raises the chalice at mass) – is still a common expression of celebration. However, as believers, we can turn the words of a toast into a moment of prayerful expressions of gratitude. But, keep these comments extra short. And, as you raise the glass, encourage people to have an attitude of gratitude, and conclude by saying “amen and cheers.” It’s an easy way to slide in a prayer without coming across as a religious zealot.

Individual glasses of fine wine during a tasting and viticultural lesson on the culinary cruise.
(5) Depending on the gathering, it may be very appropriate for you NOT to offer a public prayer as people can get rather hostile, sad to say. In this case, no one can stop you from praying silently to God. He is the one to whom the prayer is directed. If you are the host, or a guest of honor, it would be very appropriate for you to share your faith. The guests should know that you are a man or woman of faith by how you live your life, and not just because you want to pray before you eat. However, if you’re simply a guest, or a friend of the guest, you should have an established rapport with the host before you suggest that you “lead” a prayer. If you’re not in a position to take a lead role at the dinner or event – that is, someone who is called upon to make a speech, a toast or the official prayer – then it is best that you simply offer a prayer by yourself without making a spectacle or scene. The humble disposition of bowing your head, or making a simple but dignified sign of the cross, is more Christ-like than publicly announcing your faith in an uncomfortable way.
Liz Lev, professor and expert tour guide during one of the tapings for the “Savoring Our Faith: Special Edition in Rome”. Liz provides an excellent approach to sharing the faith through history and art.

These suggestions can hopefully make your dinner party or event more special, thematically appropriate and a true celebration. Your prayer – whether publicly or privately prayed – will always be heard by God loudly and clearly. And, if you are truly giving your prayer to God, He will use that opportunity to bring souls closer to Him around his Sacred Banquet.

  • How do you pray in public?  
  • Is this advice helpful to you?  
  • What would you suggest is the best way to introduce prayer in a place where people have different faiths and backgrounds?
  • Where are you most comfortable to pray, and where are you least comfortable to share your faith?  

Your questions, comments and responses are very helpful in giving our movement the proper focus and relevance to your faithful foodie experiences.  Please post your comments below.

 

Father in heaven, we thank you for the people who want to make a witness to your goodness by praying in public. Give them the necessary graces, virtue and proper skills to be an effective minister of your presence, a true bridge to your bounty. Teach people how to be humble in their approach to sharing faith, and always trusting that you always hear our prayers – spoken from our lips and held silently in our hearts. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the Church in Palawan Philippines, a nation that is unafraid to express their faith in God. Though a poor and developing nation, it is a joyful nation because of the fervor and faith of the people.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1ST & 2ND 

Family Faith Festival at St. Patrick ChurchSt. Patrick Church, 1000 N. Beckley Station Road. Louisville, KY 40245CONTACT: Tim Grove | tgrove@st.patrick-lou.org | 502-719-0362

  • Fr. Leo is a very energetic and sincere guest with a flair for performing and engaging audiences. He is committed to helping families grow stronger- body, mind and soul! He’s coming to St. Patrick, Dec. 1 & 2 to present a parish-wide mission.
  • While at St. Patrick, Father Leo will spread the good news about the importance of family meals in three ways:
  • Father Leo will preach at all Masses
  • Father Leo will give a talk entitled, “Spiritual Combat” to our teens at 7 p.m., Dec. 1 in Schindler Hall
  • [Mass at 5 p.m. and a light meal will precede Father’s talk.
  • Father Leo will offer a Family Faith Festival and Fajitas dinner from 1 to 4 p.m., Dec. 2 in the Celtic Center.
  • Father Leo also will autograph aprons, and copies of his books, all of which will be available for purchase just in time for Christmas.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6THHoly Hour Presentation at Columbia UniversityColumbia University 405 West 114th St. New York, NY 10025 CONTACT: Fr. Dan O’Reilly | 212-866-1500 | daniel.o’reilly@archny.org

  • Every Thursday, Columbia University’s Catholic Ministry has a Holy Hour, adoration, and feature a speaker once a month for the students to see. In December, Fr. Leo will be the featured speaker who will have a chance to speak about Grace Before Meals, share in the Benediction following the Holy Hour, and then mingle with students complete with a cooking demo. 
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SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
Any submissions may be used in future Grace Before Meals publications.

 

Posted in From the Feedbag | 2 Comments »

Posted November 21st, 2012 | Menu Inspiration

Boiling potatoes with seasoning in a shallow pan of water until the water is evaporated is one technique to "steam fry" potatoes to perfection.

I appreciate tradition.  But I’m also not afraid to give some new ideas a try to make sure traditions don’t become stale or boring.   One menu tradition that can sometimes get boring is mashed potatoes.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love mashed potatoes, especially if they’re buttery, savory, not clumpy, and almost mousse-like in consistency.  But, with so many other soft Thanksgiving foods (I’m thinking sweet yams with marshmallow, creamed mushrooms and beans, and hopefully a moist turkey), I sometimes think that Thanksgiving could use some textural variety.

 

With that in mind, I want to offer a delicious potato recipe for Thanksgiving or your upcoming Advent Dinner Party.  I’ve posted a similar recipe before, and it’s received rave reviews.  So consider this a potato tradition worth continuing!

 

People say these potatoes are beautiful to look at as well as tasty, making each part of the meal – even the side dish – something special!  After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about: a special meal for you and your family. 

 

 

One benefit to this potato preparation is that you can have an exact count of potatoes for each serving, generally 2 or 3 potatoes per person.  And if you have any leftovers, it’s easy to refashion these potatoes into a mash or hash the next day.  And, with this parboiling technique, it’s easy to prep these potatoes in advance and have them hot and ready for a well-timed sit-down dinner.

Click here for the recipe.

 

On behalf of the Grace Before Meals team, we wish you and your family a most blessed Thanksgiving Feast.  And remember, the word “Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving.”  Therefore, our Catholic Faith offers us a chance to celebrate this joyful feast every day of our life and not just once a year.

Be sure and take pictures of your Thanksgiving Meal and send them to our new website so that we can start a Grace Before Meal “fam” page.  Also, check in with our Facebook  and Twitter page for fun Thanksgiving updates.

Couples at a recent event at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Vienna, Virginia, enjoying the new book specially written for engaged and married couples. Order yours today, as well as other Grace Before Meals gift items, and receive these in time for Christmas.

 

  • What’s the best part of Thanksgiving for you?  
  • If you’re not from the United States, does your country have something similar to this celebration? 
  • What’s your favorite way to prepare potatoes?  

Your questions, comments, shared recipes, and simply expressing your thoughts help us to remember the importance of our message.  If there’s something you’d like for me to write about, a recipe you’d like to share, or a question you have, please post your comments below. 

 

Serving those potatoes for a recent auction winner dinner event – along with crab cakes and filet mignon.  Now that’s something to be thankful for!

 

Let us pray:

Father in Heaven, we thank you everyday of our lives – not just once a year.  But in a special way, families across the United States offer their thanks as they also prepare for the great feast of Christ the King and Advent – in preparation for the Birth of Jesus.  May all travelers in this busy season be safe.  May each table be graced with family, friends and a bountiful meal.  We remember those who go without.  And we pray in thanksgiving for those missionaries who serve the poor.  May God bless us all, and may the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.  Amen.

Click here for more suggested Thanksgiving Prayers that you can say before your family feast!

Enjoy a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner with your family, the perfect time to say Grace Before Meals. And we keep those who go without in our prayers, that they may be blessed by God through the love and kindness of others.

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1ST

Family Faith Festival at St. Patrick Church

St. Patrick Church, 1000 N. Beckley Station Road. Louisville, KY 40245

CONTACT: Tim Grove | tgrove@st.patrick-lou.org | 502-719-0362

  • Fr. Leo is a very energetic and sincere guest with a flair for performing and engaging audiences. He is committed to helping families grow stronger- body, mind and soul! He’s coming to St. Patrick, Dec. 1 & 2 to present a parish-wide mission.
  • While at St. Patrick, Father Leo will spread the good news about the importance of family meals in three ways:
  • Father Leo will preach at all Masses
  • Father Leo will give a talk entitled, “Spiritual Combat” to our teens at 7 p.m., Dec. 1 in Schindler Hall
  • [Mass at 5 p.m. and a light meal will precede Father’s talk.
  • Father Leo will offer a Family Faith Festival and Fajitas dinner from 1 to 4 p.m., Dec. 2 in the Celtic Center.
  • Father Leo also will autograph oven mitts, aprons, and copies of his books, all of which will be available for purchase just in time for Christmas.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6TH

Holy Hour Presentation at Columbia University

Columbia University 405 West 114th St. New York, NY 10025 

CONTACT: Fr. Dan O’Reilly | 917-685-6175 | daniel.o’reilly@archny.org

  • Every Thursday, Columbia University’s Catholic Ministry has a Holy Hour, adoration, and feature a speaker once a month for the students to see. In December, Fr. Leo will be the featured speaker who will have a chance to speak about Grace Before Meals, share in the Benediction following the Holy Hour, and then mingle with students complete with a cooking demo. 
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube
SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
Any submissions may be used in future Grace Before Meals publications.

 

Posted in Menu Inspiration | 2 Comments »

Posted November 14th, 2012 | Faithful Foodie
Savoring Our Faith in Rome!

 

This was a big year of filming the new episodes of my show on EWTN “Savoring our Faith,” which currently airs every Wednesday at 6:00pm Eastern Time.  On top of the 13 episodes, we filmed 2 extras shows for Christmas and Easter.  In October 2012, we also took the cameras to Rome and filmed 4 special traveling episodes of the show.

Filming at Piazza Navona.

 

Here’s what we did.  We began each episode on location at a famous site in Rome -a church, park, or piazza.  We discussed the Roman Christian significance while making faith, historical and cultural ties.  At the end of that segment, we visited a nearby eatery for a sampling of the local flavor.  This travel tip could help pilgrims find great dining experiences along their pilgrim way.  It was also a great chance to see the workings of a real Italian kitchen and meet some great chefs!  After sampling the food, we moved our show into the student kitchen at the Pontifical North American College in order to recreate a version of that dish at home.

Me with the Head Chef at Cecilia Metella near the Catacombs of Rome.  He makes the world famous Scrigno Pasta.

 

The objective was simply to create tangible reminders of your trip to Rome by reminiscing over the flavors of that Roman cuisine!  It’s very Jesus-like.  He says, “Eat and Drink in Memory of Me.”  With these new episodes, we give pilgrims an experience to recreate a meal so that they remember the restaurant, and more importantly their spiritual experiences at the nearby shrines and sites.

At the famous Ristorante Scarpone, with the Head Chef and the Owner.  Pope Benedict frequented this restaurant before he became Pope!

These episodes will air in the next season.  And when they do, I’m sure these shows will provide inspiration, travel tips and food ideas for your own faithful foodie adventure.  For me personally, I will gratefully remember how members of the Italian film crew were “impressed” that I could cook such authentic Italian Flavors. It certainly helped that before I served the food to these naturally born Italian cuisine critics that I prayed “Grace Before Meals!”

Cooking for Msgr. Gallagher, a Secretary of State Vatican Official

 

  

On a very sad note, I want to express my condolence to Jenny Stephens and her family who mourn the death of Deacon Joe Stephens.  The Stephens family home is where we film our Savoring our Faith Episodes.  I recently learned that Joe, a permanent deacon, passed away suddenly.  This is a very sad time for their family and our Savoring our Faith Crew. We prayerfully remember this good man, a humble servant, a faithful husband and loving father.  Thank you Deacon Joe for opening your home to us.  May your soul rest in peace and may your family know of God’s consolation and mercy.

In loving memory of Deacon Joe Stephens, and consolation for his lovely wife Jenny and the family.

 

  • Do you have a favorite food associated with a trip or a special person in your life?  What is it? 
  • Have you ever been to Rome? What was your favorite place to visit, and what is your favorite Italian Meal?  

Your comments encourage us. They remind us that people are reading and sharing in our movement and the good news.  Please post your comments, questions and responses HERE.

 

Special thanks to the head of the Italian Film Crew, Mary Shovlain, outside the catacombs of San Sebastiano

 

Let us pray:   

Jesus, you teach us to remember your covenant love and paschal sacrifice through a sacred meal. May we never forget to invite you to every dinner table by our simple prayer of thanksgiving for your bountiful blessings.  Give us a great sense of joy knowing that our good memories can be easily recalled making a meal in that memory – whether it be a memory of a trip, pilgrimage or a happy thought of special people in our lives.  Give us the desire to keep the good memories alive!  And may Deacon Joe’s soul experience your mercy and peace, and may his family know of God’s consoling love.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

My version of the world famous Scrigno Pasta

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH

Atlantic General Hospital Community Health Fair 

Millsboro Middle School, Indian River School District 302 East State St., Millsboro, DE 19966

CONTACT: Dawn 410-641-9268 ddenton@atlanticgeneral.org

  • Fr. Leo will present at this second annual community health fair.  There will be free adult education and a variety of free health screenings available.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH

Outside Da Box

St. John Neumann 2900 E Main St. St Charles, IL 60174 

CONTACT: Eric 630-242-4898 eric@outsidedabox.com

  • This event focuses on helping families and couples grow in their faith in new ways.  Fr. Leo will give a cooking demonstration and Grace Before Meals presentation.

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH

Catholic Charities “Come and See” Fundraiser

Harrisburg, PA

CONTACT: Mark 717-657-4804 mtotaro@hbgdiocese.org

  • Fr. Leo will present the message of Grace Before Meals at the annual “Come and See” fundraiser. Benefits go to the Diocese of Harrisburg and Catholic Charities.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1ST

Family Faith Festival at St. Patrick Church

St. Patrick Church, 1000 N. Beckley Station Road. Louisville, KY 40245

CONTACT: Tim Grove | tgrove@st.patrick-lou.org | 502-719-0362

  • Fr. Leo is a very energetic and sincere guest with a flair for performing and engaging audiences. He is committed to helping families grow stronger- body, mind and soul! He’s coming to St. Patrick, Dec. 1 & 2 to present a parish-wide mission.
  • While at St. Patrick, Father Leo will spread the good news about the importance of family meals in three ways:
  • Father Leo will preach at all Masses
  • Father Leo will give a talk entitled, “Spiritual Combat” to our teens at 7 p.m., Dec. 1 in Schindler Hall
  • [Mass at 5 p.m. and a light meal will precede Father’s talk.
  • Father Leo will offer a Family Faith Festival and Fajitas dinner from 1 to 4 p.m., Dec. 2 in the Celtic Center.
  • Father Leo also will autograph oven mitts, aprons, and copies of his books, all of which will be available for purchase just in time for Christmas.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6TH

Holy Hour Presentation at Columbia University

Columbia University 405 West 114th St. New York, NY 10025 

CONTACT: Fr. Dan O’Reilly | 917-685-6175 | daniel.o’reilly@archny.org

  • Every Thursday, Columbia University’s Catholic Ministry has a Holy Hour, adoration, and feature a speaker once a month for the students to see. In December, Fr. Leo will be the featured speaker who will have a chance to speak about Grace Before Meals, share in the Benediction following the Holy Hour, and then mingle with students complete with a cooking demo. 
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube
SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
Any submissions may be used in future Grace Before Meals publications.

 

Posted in Faithful Foodie | 2 Comments »

Posted November 7th, 2012 | Uncategorized

One Nation Under God and Around One Table

President Jimmy Carter loved peanuts. President Ronald Reagan liked jellybeans. I recall President Obama was caught on camera enjoying a plate of French fries, despite his wife’s penchant for healthy foods. And I heard that President George H. W. Bush didn’t like broccoli. Considering presidential eating habits can provide a unique and healthy perspective after such a contentious election year.

Maybe President Bush would enjoy this preparation of broccoli, especially if it’s served along side a grilled steak with sautéed mushrooms and a rich red wine sauce.

 

As our country continues to recover after Hurricane Sandy, and some might be recovering from stress after the election, it’s a good idea to step back and remember that depending on God’s Grace – not an elected official’s campaign promise – is the only way to get through life’s woes and challenges.  No matter how important and powerful the office of the President of the United States may be, the person who occupies the oval office is, after all, only human. They are not a god or a demigod, even if they sometimes act like a prima donna.  We know they are human because they eat just like everyone else.  Along with the rest of humanity, even the powerful leaders must (or should) humbly depend on God’s Grace and be grateful to so many other hard-working people for each bite of food – from farmers, factory workers, chefs, and grocery clerks.

 

I wonder if the First Family prays grace before meals in the White House or even at official state functions?  If not, they should. Thanking God and asking Him for blessings over the meal will help them to stay rooted and humble and help them avoid the same messiah complex that eventually led some ancient Roman emperors to cause Rome’s implosion.

Remember, emperors saw themselves as gods with power to decide on the fate of the citizens, not unlike courts and politicians decide the fate of the unborn.  Unfortunately, some politicians act the same way by enacting laws that approve (and sometimes “celebrate”) the death of a child in the mother’s womb.

The Colosseum where emperors decided the fate of many lives, including Christian martyrs.

 

But it’s easy to see how presidents can take on an exalted personality in a larger-than-life office. But remembering they eat like everyone else keeps them “real” to the citizens.  Realizing they eat provides an opportunity for humility – a necessary attribute for successful leaders.  The common citizens must see their leaders for who they are:  public servants (i.e., people who serve) and not demigods (i.e., those who are to be served)!

Prior to the election, it was very important for the presidential candidates to be seen eating at local restaurants or community barbecues.  They wanted to show their human side in order to come across as more personable, or as pollsters would say, more favorable. After elections, however, they take on such a unique persona that eating presidential foods becomes an exclusive honor for wealthy, privileged, powerful Hollywood types. Perhaps the President and First Family ought to make it a point to regularly eat with constituents – rich, middle class, and the poor alike, and not just for political purposes.

The increasing number of the homeless and hungry being fed by charitable agencies (not the government) in the wealthy city of San Francisco.

For people of Faith and, in particular, Catholics, we must remember that a greater honor occurs at each celebration of the Mass.  The food we eat, the food from the “presidential” hands of the “presiding” priest, namely the Eucharist, is not only the Bread of Angels, but the very Presence of God.  It’s interesting to note that Jesus – the leader of all nations – was also seen eating with people because he saw them as family, not constituents.  But Jesus goes several steps further than any human political leader.  He serves the food and eventually becomes their food.  Talk about a humble leader!

Unlike Jesus(pictured), the POTUS could not, should not, even attempt to feed the citizens with his own body and blood. That would be gross! It would turn citizens into vampire-zombie-cannibals, i.e., someone who feeds on the flesh and blood of other humans.

However, Jesus, as the King of Kings, can make this offer because his flesh and blood is not merely human flesh and blood.  Eating human flesh would do nothing for us.  However, eating the flesh and blood of the Son of Man will help us to become more like Him – holy.  We won’t get holy by eating a politician’s flesh and blood.  Jesus, as our spiritual food, allows us to participate in a feast of the Divine Person. It invites us to share in a Sacred Banquet – no longer as mortal humans, but as God’s children destined for eternal life in Heaven.

Can you see the privilege of going to Mass and sharing in the Lord’s Supper? Receiving Holy Communion is a greater honor than a private dinner in the White House.

While presidents and national leaders may struggle with a messiah complex, people of faith ought to see how sharing in the sacred meal of the Eucharist helps us to become greater than any elected political office. Participation in this Sacred Meal makes us God’s children, heirs to an eternal kingdom in Heaven.  It also imposes a great responsibility to become true leaders in our own communities, not by showing off our title and powerful positions, but by humbly serving one another, feeding one another, and even offering ourselves so that others can live.

Image of Jesus, as a young child, praying grace before meals with the Holy Family.

I offer this Eucharistic theology the day after the United States presidential election to invite people to strengthen their belief in the great honor of eating the sacred meal, which is way more important than dining with any president.  After all, the job of president is not to replace God, but to help citizens remember that we are “One Nation Under God.” May God bless the all winners of the election, their families, and the United States of America!

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Be sure to order your copy of Fr. Leo’s latest book, Spicing Up Married Life, in time for the Holiday season. It is the perfect gift for couples! And email us at assistant@gracebeforemeals.com if you would like Fr. Leo to sign and dedicate your copy!

**For those who wish to have dedications, please allow an additional week for delivery to account for Fr. Leo’s availability. He’s all over the place!

Let us pray:    

Father in Heaven, you have given the great gift of exercising freedom by electing our civil leaders and public servants. We pray that all future votes will be done with an informed conscience. We pray for the office of presidency, and all who serve the public good.  May they humbly acknowledge the privileged responsibility of that office and work to serve the needs of the people by protecting their human dignity, especially in the mother’s womb.  May God bless those who suffer because of corrupt leaders. May God bring swift justice to those who take advantage of their office and offend God by denying His people the gift of freedom to worship and bringing harm to the gift of life.  Bless our country, our land, and our people.  And thank You for the opportunity to share the meal that is beyond all price and honor!  With prayers of the angels and saints, we ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

  • Have you ever eaten with someone so important or powerful that you felt like you were in the presence of greatness?
  • If you had the chance to cook for the President or any world leader, what would you prepare?
  • If you were president what kind of laws would you enact?
  • How should a politician’s personal faith influence his or her political positions?
  • Did your candidate win or lose, and how will you deal with the celebration or sorrow?
  • Did you cook a special meal while watching the vote count? What did you prepare?

I know that talking about politics at the dinner table is politically incorrect, but I think families need to discuss these hot topics in a good and loving way, even if we disagree.  Yes, that takes practice.  So start your dinner conversation by laying down ground rules about how you will talk about hot topics at your dinner table.

Post your comments, questions, or responses below.  Or just let us know what you think of the new website.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH

Our Lady of Good Counsel, 8601 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA 22182 

CONTACT: Anna Mary 703-896-7425 auction@olgcva.org

  • Fr. Leo will be giving a Grace Before Meals presentation and cooking demonstration at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church.  This event is part of an auction effort to raise money for the church.

St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Community, 4103 Prices Distillery Rd. Ijamsville, MD 21754

CONTACT: Carol Smith 301-695-8845 csmith@e-stignatius.org

  • Fr. Leo will be working with the “Marriage Matters” group at St. Ignatius Loyola to speak on Family Meals and Strengthening Marriages, complete with a cooking demonstration, starting at 1pm after the 12pm Mass.

Atlantic General Hospital Community Health Fair 

Millsboro Middle School, Indian River School District 302 East State St., Millsboro, DE 19966

CONTACT: Dawn 410-641-9268 ddenton@atlanticgeneral.org

  • Fr. Leo will present at this second annual community health fair.  There will be free adult education and a variety of free health screenings available.

 

Outside Da Box

St. John Neumann 2900 E Main St. St Charles, IL 60174 

CONTACT: Eric 630-242-4898 eric@outsidedabox.com

  • This event focuses on helping families and couples grow in their faith in new ways.  Fr. Leo will give a cooking demonstration and Grace Before Meals presentation.

Catholic Charities “Come and See” Fundraiser

Harrisburg, PA

CONTACT: Mark 717-657-4804 mtotaro@hbgdiocese.org

  • Fr. Leo will present the message of Grace Before Meals at the annual “Come and See” fundraiser. Benefits go to the Diocese of Harrisburg and Catholic Charities.

 

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Posted November 6th, 2012 | Uncategorized

I’m writing an email blast that will go out tomorrow, the day after the election. But for now, I encourage every American citizen to vote. While it’s not a “sacred duty,” (because a President is not a “god”), it is a great privilege to exercise a free act of standing up for what our country believes are inalienable rights: LIFE, LIBERTY and Pursuit of Happiness – in that order. Please take a stand and vote for Life – including the living child in a mother’s womb. Please vote for Liberty, especially in the ability to live out our faith that has helped our country grow prosperous, but is now constantly ridiculed in politics and media. And yes, vote for the pursuit of happiness, but not the unbridled freedom that takes away people’s prosperity through excessive taxation. Our country is in need of real leadership and real change that speaks to the hearts of our people – and not just the rich, powerful hollywood types. But, above all, pray today in a special way for our country. We have the resources, vision, and talent to make this world a better place for its citizens and all people around the globe! God bless you, America and all of God’s children – our brothers and sisters around our globe.

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