Posted November 26th, 2014 | Holiday, Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Lord’s Altar table to our own dinner table, I pray for you and your family, I also pray for those who go without, and those unsung heroes who work to provide the Lord’s bounty for your table and for your souls! To all of the faithful FEEDERS. Cheers!

Let us Pray:
(From the Book of Blessings for the Roman Catholic Church)

“All Powerful God, we appeal to your tender care that even as you temper the winds and rains to nurture the fruits of the earth, you will also send upon them the gentle shower of your blessing.  Fill the hearts of your people with gratitude, that from the earth’s fertility the hungry may be filled with good things and the poor and needy proclaim the glory of your name. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Traditional Grace:

Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  And, may the Souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

Posted in Holiday, Thanksgiving | 3 Comments »

Posted November 27th, 2013 | Faithful Foodie, Prayers, Thanksgiving, Video

 

 Fried Chicken for Thanksgiving?

(Willie Mae’s Scotch House world famous fried chicken.)

Last week, I honestly (and humbly) admitted that I don’t prefer the traditional Thanksgiving turkey for the main meal.  Instead, I prefer fried chicken! Perhaps it’s because one of my most memorable Thanksgivings with my family was the one where we ate fried chicken instead!

My stuffed turkey, Thanksgiving 2012, just to clarify that I do make it for my family!

 

The story goes that our family was in the midst of travels.  With other personal disruptions to the family schedule that year, my parents went to the store too late to get a turkey.  In the 70’s, grocery stores had limited quantities of things, and it required early purchase planning.  Now, with technology to raise more and more turkeys, there’s always enough – if not too many turkeys to the point of waste.  But, that’s another problem.  Back to the story: while filled with dismay, my parents tried to give their kids a happy Thanksgiving without a turkey.  Instead, they chose to give us something they knew we all loved:  mom’s fried chicken!  Somehow, this particular Thanksgiving fried chicken tasted so much better. Perhaps, it was because it was intentionally prepared with an attitude of gratitude.

Grandparents with the grandchildren, Christmas 2012.

Now, whenever I eat fried chicken, I think of that happy childhood Thanksgiving memory.  Nostalgically, I recall the simple dining table graced with my immediate family and maternal grandparents. The chicken tasted so good! We ate our desserts in front of the TV watching the Sound of Music.  I fell asleep on the couch, content, peaceful and happy.  At that simpler time in life, there was no shopping rush to get to.  And, even without Turkey, I had so much for which to be thankful!

Instead of turkey, how about a Filipino roasted pig, called Lechon?

And since we’re talking about thankful fried chicken experiences, I’d like to share a fried chicken specialty restaurant that I found while on my travels.  Welcome to Sneaky’s!   Here’s a quick video about them which you can share with your family and friends – especially those who would be more grateful if Thanksgiving was celebrated with friends, like the ones I found at Sneaky’s!

 

The United States isn’t the only country that celebrates a day for giving thanks. However, for those who faithfully celebrate the Eucharist (the Greek word for Thanksgiving), which is the Body of Christ, we can have a celebration of giving thanks everyday!

Or, how about Peking crispy duck instead? In some cases, people will say, “turkey, chicken, duck – it’s all bird; it’s all the same.

  

——————————————————–

 

Special Holiday Deal at LeoMcWatkinsFilms.com

home of Fr. Leo’s GBM products:

 

 

Let us pray:

 

O Gracious God, we give You thanks for Your overflowing generosity to us. Thank You for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today. Thank You for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here. Thank You for our health, our work and our play. Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick and suffering war and violence. Open our hearts to Your love. We ask Your blessing through Christ Your son. Amen.

 

A little “shrine” dedicated to the late founder of Willie Mae’s Scotch House, home of world famous fried chicken. Not sure if she was Catholic, but her devotion to the Blessed Mother is evident.

Below are copies of prayers from the website: www.americancatholic.org.  Perhaps your family can select one of these prayer to grace your family gathering, for tomorrow’s feast, or every day of the year!

 

 

PRAYER AT HARVEST AND THANKSGIVING

From Celebrating Faith: Year-round Activities For Catholic Families, by Mary Cronk Farrell.

 

O God, source and giver of all things,

You manifest Your infinite majesty, power and goodness

In the earth about us:

We give You honor and glory.

For the sun and the rain,

For the manifold fruits of our fields:

For the increase of our herds and flocks,

We thank You.

For the enrichment of our souls with divine Grace,

We are grateful.

 

Supreme Lord of the harvest,

Graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil,

In union with Jesus, Your Son,

As atonement for our sins,

For the growth of Your Church,

For peace and love in our homes,

And for salvation for all.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

 

By Walter Rauschenbusch, from Living God’s Justice: Reflections and Prayers, compiled by The Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors.

 

O God, we thank You for this earth, our home;

For the wide sky and the blessed sun,

For the salt sea and the running water,

For the everlasting hills

And the never-resting winds,

For trees and the common grass underfoot.

We thank You for our senses

By which we hear the songs of birds,

And see the splendor of the summer fields,

And taste of the autumn fruits,

And rejoice in the feel of the snow,

And smell the breath of the spring.

Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;

And save our souls from being so blind

That we pass unseeing

When even the common thornbush

Is aflame with Your glory,

O God our creator,

Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

 

THANKSGIVING PRAYER

From Songs of Our Hearts, Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics, edited by Cecilia A. Moor, Ph.D., C. Vanessa White, D.Min., and Paul M. Marshall, S.M.

This Thanksgiving let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord. At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve on another and to walk together in God’s gracious world. With thankful hearts we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.

 

November 30- December 3

GOOSE CREEK, SC
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, Prayers, Thanksgiving, Video | 6 Comments »

New TV Show on EWTN this Sunday at 8:30pm EST!

Be sure to mark your personal calendars and the family refrigerator calendars for these exciting opportunities.

(A trio of penne pastas for a five-course dinner – an auction prize for Catholic Charities!)

(A trio of penne pastas for a five-course dinner – an auction prize for Catholic Charities!)

Tour the Secrets of Napa Valley!

June 23-28, 2012. Food and wine lovers, reserve NOW for another opportunity in Napa Valley.  Our Fruit of the Vine Tour was so popular and well-received that we’re returning for more faithful and culinary inspiration. Click here for more information and to reserve your spot now!

(One of the international award-winning vineyards to visit.)

(One of the international award-winning vineyards to visit.)

The International Premier – Primetime!

Savoring Our Faith on EWTN

(Click to play the promo for Fr. Leo’s new Show on EWTN: Savoring Our Faith)

Sunday March 4, 2012, at 8:30 p.m.  Be sure to watch the international premier of the full-length series – Savoring Our Faith on EWTN.  Fr. Leo’s little cooking clips on EWTN were so popular the network offered a primetime spot for a full series that features original recipes, special guests, and more faithful foodie inspiration that will feed you – body, mind, and spirit! Tell family and friends!

(Yes, I made desserts and even baked off some tuile.)

(Yes, I made desserts and even baked off some tuile.)

Spicing Up Married Life!

We continue to move forward in finalizing our book designed specifically for couples – dating, engaged, new, and senior married couples.  The response to be recipe testers was so great that we took extra time to prayerfully consider who would participate in this unique opportunity.  We have finalized this extensive list and those names selected will be notified with details.  To those who offered help, stay tuned for exclusive discounts on the book when it’s published this year – just in time for wedding seasons and the holidays!

(Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) with their healthy, happy, and bountifully blessed grandchildren.)

(Picture of my grandparents, who were married some 60+ years!  Grandpa has gone to God, but grandma is still praying her rosary.)

See, Hear, and Taste the message yourself!

If interested in booking a Grace Before Meals presentation, don’t delay.  The schedule continues to fill up quickly for 2013, as we bring our message to all parts of the country and the world!

Watching our segments on TV or online is fun, and we love the cyberspace interactions.  However, everyone who personally experiences Fr. Leo during live presentations says it’s more intense and, in some cases, “life changing,”  Afterwards, some people say they see their faith, their family meals, and the Eucharist differently, more deeply.  Nothing is better than hearing the Grace Before Meals message in person and tasting the food yourself!  So book early, and be sure to check out where Fr. Leo be next!

(Event in Folsom, Ca. Fr. Leo shares his message with a packed house. Thank God Jesus is there to "multiply" the food!)

(Event in Folsom, Ca.  Fr. Leo shares his message with a packed house.  Thank God Jesus is there to “multiply” the food!)

Let Us Pray:

God, continue to bless our Grace Before Meals movement and all of those who are a part of it.  Keep us fixed on our mission to bring families closer to our family dinner table and to Your Family Table of the Last Supper.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

(A trio of penne pastas for a five-course dinner – an auction prize for Catholic Charities!)

(Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) with their healthy, happy, and bountifully blessed grandchildren.)

Do you have questions for Fr. Leo?  If you ever had a chance to experience a Grace Before Meals presentation, give us your testimony.  Your comments, question, and even concerns help bring our movement to even more hearts, homes, and dinner tables.  Post your comments below!

(Fr. Leo at the International Festival and Celebration at Corpus Christi ,Tx., Cathedral.)

(Fr. Leo at the International Festival and Celebration at Corpus Christi ,Tx., Cathedral.)

—————————————–

Check out our last MINIFLIPPING video:


A NEW VIDEO THIS FRIDAY:

SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!

MINIFLIPPING...nuff said.Follow Fr. Leo on Twitter!Become a Fan of Fr. Leo and Grace before Meals on Facebook!Watch Grace Before Meals episodes on Youtube!

Mount St. Mary's University: Proud Sponsor of Grace Before Meals

Posted in Audio, Contributor, Events, Food for the Soul, Miniflipping, Recipe-Meats, Savoring Our Faith, Simply Blogging, Spicing Up Married Life, Thanksgiving, vacation, Video, What's On the Table | 4 Comments »

From The Feedbag

Wanted: Taste Testers for Fr. Leo’s New Book of Recipes

***NOTE: I realize this is not a normal “From the Feedbag” E-mail Blast, but I had to share some of our fun and exciting news.  I’ll get back to answering some of the great questions you all send to us at gracebeforemeals.com in future blasts.***

First, being the day before Thanksgiving, I want to thank each of you for supporting us and keeping up with our movement. I am so thankful for my family, friends and each of you, along with this great opportunity to help strengthen families and relationships through tasty food…that’s what Thanksgiving’s all about! As we spend time with our loved ones, we pray for safe travels and true thanks for the Lord our God for his many blessings in our lives, which includes the delicious food we eat, but more importantly, the people in our lives we have to share this meal with.

(Couples from Westminster, Maryland who won a dinner date night prepared by me.) 

(Couples from Westminster, Maryland who won a dinner date night prepared by me.)

And now, after so many months (OK, years actually), I finished writing Spicing Up Married Life – a book of recipes full of romantic dinners for couples.  Sounds intriguing, right?  If you’re dating, engaged, newlyweds, or celebrating golden-year anniversary marriages, this book is geared to help strengthen your relationship.

To summarize, it has 12 chapters so that a couple can celebrate a monthly (not annual) anniversary.  Each chapter contains a bite-sized theological essay about relationships and marriage vows.  Questions for dinner conversation, recipes, and a prayer round out each chapter, so couples can have meaningful meals that inspire them to love God and each other more faithfully.  Needless to say, I’m very excited about this book and what it can do to help couples find deeper love around the dinner table.

(Tom and Teresa Green of Westminster, Maryland. This is one of the parish's couples who helped me teach Marriage Preparation. You may also recognize them from the Throwdown! with Bobby Flay episode! They were the "test family" on the episode. I've had many meals with them and great conversations about strengthening marriage through faith.)

(Tom and Teresa Green of Westminster, Maryland. This is one of the parish’s couples who helped me teach Marriage Preparation. You may also recognize them from the Throwdown! with Bobby Flay episode! They were the “test family” on the episode. I’ve had many meals with them and great conversations about strengthening marriage through faith.)

Now that I’ve told you about the book, I also want to invite you to be a part of the process.  Here’s an invitation to be a Grace Before Meals recipe tester!

If interested, we need to hear from you by next Thursday, December 1, 2011. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Click here to email the Project Manager with “GBM Taste Tester” in the subject line.  In your email, let us know if you’re in a relationship (dating, engaged or married for any number of years).  Let us know that you want to try out one of the chapter’s recipes!
  2. (When I was in Guam, I did a presentation just for married couples and had a long-time engaged couple help make the meal.)

    (When I was in Guam, I did a presentation just for married couples and had a long-time engaged couple help make the meal.)

  3. Tell us about your cooking experience. What type of cook are you? Novice? Moderate? Experienced Chef?  Tell us if you have any food allergies, or if there’s a dish or food item you’re interested in testing.
  4. When our team receives all of the requests, we will select 12 recipe testers – one for each chapter.  We will then send you a recipe and ask you to prepare the meal by a certain date.  Cook the recipe exactly as it’s written.  However, if there is a typo or if you have questions about measurements or portion sizes, you can give our team a call to clarify how best to proceed.  Once you’ve made the entire meal, give us your HONEST feedback. In some cases, I will even help pay for your dinner date!  But, you have to be honest with your comments and experience.
  5. (Intimidating! Hearing the judges’ impressions of the two different plates of food – Bobby Flay's fajitas or mine? Well, you know how that turned out. Prayer pushed our fajita to victory!)

    (Intimidating! Hearing the judges’ impressions of the two different plates of food – Bobby Flay’s fajitas or mine? Well, you know how that turned out. Prayer pushed our fajita to victory!)

  6. Once we receive your feedback and process all of the comments, we’ll keep your name and contact information on file in order to include your name in the acknowledgements of the new book.  Just let us know how you want your name to appear. We may even use some of your written comments in the book as well!
  7. When the new book is printed, you’ll be the first to receive an official signed copy as our way of saying thanks for participating in our movement’s efforts to strengthen relationships..

(Participating couples at a Grace Before Meals event at St. Patrick's Church, Bellefontaine, Ohio, January 2011.) 

(Participating couples at a Grace Before Meals event at St. Patrick’s Church, Bellefontaine, Ohio, January 2011.)

Now, I know many people will ask, “When can we expect the book to be in stores?”  That depends on how fast we get the recipe testers’ feedback, the publisher contracts signed, and the book layout finalized.  We want to make this a special gift book for couples, so it may take a few months.  But, don’t worry; those who participated in the test kitchen will certainly be sent the first books, hot off the press!  And those who subscribe to our website will be the first to know about pre-orders through our E-mail Blasts.

Consider this “From the Feedbag” a little invitation letter to all of you – especially those interested in being a recipe tester for one of my unique recipes specifically designed for couples.

(You could be taste-testing one of these romantic dinner creations from me, but made especially for your spouse!)

(You could be taste-testing one of these romantic dinner creations from me, but made especially for your spouse!)

Let us pray:

God, grant our movement the grace to persevere in spreading the Good News to all families, and especially to encourage loving relationships for couples.  May our efforts bear great fruits that feed hungry souls, and also inspire servants to feed those who need God’s love through a blessed meal.  Keep us focused on feasting on Your goodness that You share with us at every Mass.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Happy Newlyweds – they know if they find God, they find love!)

(Happy Newlyweds – they know if they find God, they find love!)

DON’T FORGET to tune in to the new show, Mass Confusion on CTV, set to air this Thanksgiving at 8:30pm. The show stars my good friends, Greg and Jennifer Willits of the popular radio show, “The Catholics Next Door,” on SiriusXM 129.

If you have any questions or comments, and want Fr. Leo’s perspectives, feel free and let us know.  Fr. Leo is happy to try and answer as many questions as possible in future emails.  We will always keep you anonymous.  But, your questions help us better understand how our movement can be of service to you.  We consider your questions and comments important dinner conversation, so please post your comments below.

Watch Grace Before Meals episodes on Youtube! Follow Fr. Leo on Twitter!become a Fan of Fr. Leo and Grace before Meals on Facebook!

Mount St. Mary's University: Proud Sponsor of Grace Before Meals

Posted in Food for the Body, From the Feedbag, Grace Before Meals, Holiday, Prayers, Recipe, Special Religious Theme, Spicing Up Married Life, Taste Tester, Thanksgiving | 2 Comments »