What do a chef, a martial artist and a priest have in common?
Well, in this case, they are one and the same person! Fr Leo Patalinghug was the main speaker at the Why Be Catholic conference in October this year. An inspiring and charismatic priest, he is most renowned for his cooking show on EWTN “Savoring Our Faith”. Therefore one was expecting no shortage of cheesy food anecdotes (pun totally intended). He also had an obvious passion about his “mission” to encourage families to share their meals together seated around the dining table, which he calls the “Grace Before Meals” movement.
His use of food analogies presented his preaching in an intriguing and thought-provoking way, from presenting God the Father as a loving dad who seeks to feed and satisfy the hunger of His children, to Christ giving Himself to us as real food and drink. The 3rd-Dan Black-Belt Tae Kwon Do instructor and Eskrima Kali Arnis expert was not going to finish the conference without using this gift of his for the greater glory of God – breaking wooden boards as an example of breaking through sin (which – being one of the guys who had to hold the board for his roundhouse kick – was terrifying).
The Why Be Catholic conference was an enlightening and inspiring experience, which has undoubtedly helped to deepen and strengthen the faith of all who attended. I am already looking forward to the next one!