Celebrity ‘Cooking Priest’ to serve up faith and family time for diocesan families


PROVIDENCE — Father Leo Patalinghug, also known as “the Cooking Priest” for his online cooking channel and appearance on Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay,” will visit the Diocese of Providence on Thursday, November 30, and Friday, December 1, to offer two presentations for young people and families. The presentations, sponsored by the diocesan Offices of Catholic Youth Ministry, Faith Formation and Family Life, will offer individuals of all ages the chance to strengthen their faith in a casual, family-centered environment.

“We’re thrilled that Father Leo has accepted our invitation to present in our diocese. We’re especially happy with his perspective on families and strategies for sharing meals and family time in today’s busy-ness,” said Louise Dussault, director of the Office of Catholic Youth Ministry.

A Voluntas Dei priest from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Father Patalinghug first developed his love for cooking while attending seminary at the North American College in Rome. He is the founder of Grace Before Meals, a food, family and faith movement and website that features recipes and cooking tutorials to help strengthen families around the dinner table. His ministry can also be found on EWTN, where he hosts the TV show “Savoring Our Faith,” and formerly on Sirius XM Radio, where he co-hosted the radio show “Entertaining Truth” alongside comedy writer Tom Leopold until 2015.

“I’m looking forward to visiting the Diocese of Providence and sharing a message that can help families – parents and their children – grow closer together and with God,” Father Patalinghug said in a statement. “As a former break dancer, martial arts instructor and now a priest and chef who beat Bobby Flay in a cooking competition, I try to use my skills and experiences to help people understand their Catholic faith. It’ll be a time to inspire, educate, but most importantly to celebrate.”

On Thursday evening, Father Patalinghug will draw on his experience as a third degree black belt martial arts teacher during a presentation intended to teach parish youth how to be strong in their faith. Friday’s presentation, entitled “Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspirations for Family Meals and Family Life,” will reach a wider audience as Father Patalinghug offers strategies for developing family life and faith around the dinner table. The presentation will be appropriate for all ages as Father Patalinghug shares his ministry as a priest and chef.

According to Dussault, the visit will meet a need expressed during Bishop Thomas J. Tobin’s Post-Confirmation Summit for more faith engagement opportunities for young people and their parents. His energetic style and emphasis on family activities offers the ideal setting for family members to come together for an evening of growing in the faith.

“Father Leo is dynamic, engaging and entertaining and his message is solidly Catholic, relevant and timely for the needs of youth and families,” she said.

Both presentations will take place at McVinney Auditorium, 43 Dave Gavitt Way, Providence. Tickets for Thursday’s evening for youth can be purchased by contacting the Office of Catholic Youth Ministry at 401-278-4626. Tickets for Friday’s evening for families can be purchased online at www.mcvinneyauditorium.org/events or by calling the box office at 401-278-4588. Free parking is provided.