Father Leo Patalinghug, host of the EWTN show “Grace Before Meals,” conducts a cooking demonstration at the Alexandria Riverfront Center prior to the start of the Catholic youth conference, Steubenville South. Patalinghug spoke about faith and the church as he made a meal. (Melinda Martinez/The Town Talk)

Men of God have different ways of spreading their message. For Father Leo Patalinghug, it’s through food.

“God is a big time foodie,” Fr. Leo told an audience of young people at the Alexandria Riverfront Center Friday. “God wants to feed you, you just gotta come hungry.”

Patalinghug, known as the “Cooking Priest,” demonstrated techniques as he prepared a meal of penne with vodka sauce in front of participants in Steubenville South, the large Catholic youth conference held annually in Alexandria.

Along the way, he shared metaphors about cooking and faith.

“All my favorite ‘F’ words — food, faith, family, friends, fun — go together,” he said.

The proper way to cut an onion, he showed the audience, is to leave the root in place while you do it, just as you should find things in your life that root you.

Good food always has a balance of flavors, he said, just as we should all try to find balance in our own lives. Saving leftover components such as garlic peel and parsley stems are a great way to flavor broths and compost gardens, just as you should strive to make complete use of all your gifts.

Plating the meal is as important as cooking it, he said, just as people of faith should work at “plating our message” when sharing their faith with others.

“You don’t just throw the food on a plate and say, ‘Eat this!'” Patalinghug said. “That’s what people think of the church. Be careful about how you present your faith to others. Do you make it look beautiful, or do you make it look like slop on a plate?”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The TownTalk