WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Cooking up a storm

WelCom September 2018:

Patricia Alfonso-Sison

Fr Leo Patalinghug has a message that centres around food and God’s love. Photo: Supplied

Priest, chef, martial artist, break-dancer, and award-winning author, Fr Leo Patalinghug, is a multi-talented man with a message that centres around food and God’s love.

Visiting New Zealand for the first time, Fr Leo will share his message with a live cooking demonstration at the Family Banquet conference, organised by the Centre for Marriage and Family (CMF) in Wellington, this November.

New Zealand celebrity chef Martin Bosley will also be at the event presenting about his ‘Gate to Plate’ voluntary culinary work mentoring prisoners.

Fr Leo’s ministry Plating Grace is about bringing families back to the dinner table to strengthen family bonds. He says, ‘We believe in the power of food to do good – for all people, no matter their background – as food is the common denominator that can bridge people and culture.

‘Eating around the table is so important because in today’s fast-paced world, we need to create opportunities for togetherness, connections and communication. We need to realise we have deep hungers, not just for food, but for companionship. The word companionship is derived from ‘cum – with’ and ‘panis – bread’. Jesus ate with sinners and strangers and He invited all to his banquet. When we serve one another, we show we love them. That’s what a family meal can do – share love, simply by sharing bread.’

While Fr Leo says he’s always happy to show people how to cook, he will talk about the reason, ‘Why we cook and how food can bring us closer to God and to one another’.

Fr Leo, was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States. He lives in a consecrated community called Voluntas Dei – The Will of God – and hosts a weekly TV show, Savouring Our Faith, on the Catholic Channel EWTN.

The Family Banquet will be on Saturday, 10 November, starting with Mass, 9am‒10am, at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 169 Main Rd, Tawa, followed by Conference presentations from 10.30am‒5pm at St Christopher’s Anglican Church. Visit www.eventbrite.co.nz for details and to purchase tickets.

Patricia Alfonso-Sison, Director, Centre for Marriage and Family.