A Priest, celebrity chef, martial arts instructor, break-dancer, award-winning author, radio and tv show host, Father Leo Patalinghug, is a multi-talented man with a unique message. And it all centres around food and God’s love.
His ministry Plating Grace is about bringing families back to the dinner table through preparing and sharing a meal together and in doing so strengthening family bonds. Father Leo will be sharing this message, complete with a live cooking demonstration, for the first time ever in New Zealand 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 presenting at the event sharing about his ‘Gate to Plate’ voluntary culinary work mentoring prisoners.
Father Leo 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 realize that we have deep hungers, not just for food, but for companionship - a word that means “cum=with” “panis=bread”. This is what Jesus did when he ate with sinners and strangers. He invited all to his banquet. And 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 Father Leo says he’s always happy to show people how to cook, he’s coming to NZ to share the reason ‘Why we cook.’ “From a spiritual point of view, we recognize how all religions have ‘feast days!’ For Christians, we learn why Jesus invites us to be servants at the table and even reveals himself as bread and wine. I will share a message about how a meal can bring us closer to God and one another. That’s a message the entire world needs to hear and I’m excited to share it with the people of New Zealand.”
But that’s not all, the Black Belt Martial Arts Instructor will be engaging, especially young audiences, with his Spiritual Combat message using hand to hand combat techniques to illustrate key biblical concepts on spiritual warfare.
Father Leo, who was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States lives in a consecrated community called Voluntas Dei (The Will of God). He hosts a weekly TV show called Savouring Our Faith on the Catholic Channel EWTN.
Plating Grace is an international apostolate to help strengthen families and relationships through God’s gift of the family meal.
The Family Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 10 starting with a Mass from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. at the Our Lady of Fatima Church, 169 Main Rd., Tawa, Wellington 5028. This will be followed by Conference presentations from 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m at the St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, 167 Main Rd. Tawa. For details and how to purchase tickets, visit. ENDS