Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
Here’s how Father Leo Patalinghug summarizes his “cooking ministry” in a recent Washington Post article:
“It looks like such a shtick: a priest cooking show!” he said during Mass at the Catholic Information Center, the downtown bookstore-chapel where he did his recent penne alla vodka presentation. “But I know the only way I can reach your hearts and minds is through your stomach.”
Father Patalinghug, a diocesan priest in Baltimore who is currently on assignment as director of pastoral field education at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, is almost as serious about his cooking as he is about his priestly ministry.
According to the Post article, he has two self-published cookbooks as well as a website, Grace Before Meals, that combines faith and food. The website explains that the Philippines-born priest “actually developed his love for cooking while attending the seminary at the North American College in Rome. There, he became friendly with several Italian restaurant owners and would often invite them back to the student kitchen to trade cooking secrets.”
Father Patalinghug’s profile in the Post was occasioned by the cooking demo the 39-year-old priest recently put on at the Catholic Information Center in Washington. According to the Post, PBS hopes to put Father Patalinghug on the air, and The Food Network will tape a test show with him in June.
To help readers get more of a flavor for Father Patalinghug, here are a couple of links to videos he has posted at his Grace Before Meals website.
The first Lenten-themed video explains how to make a Bourbon Barbecue Salmon Salad. The second one is a culinary-tinged recording of Father Patalinghug’s experiences at last January’s March for Life in Washington.