Faith, food and martial arts celebrated


Close to two hundred people were fed physically and spiritually at the Family Banquet featuring celebrity chef and priest Father Leo Patalinghug.

The charity event was hosted by the Centre for Marriage and Family (CMF) on 10 November in Tawa, near Wellington.

The American Filipino-born priest who travels the world sharing the importance of family dinners, delighted attendees with a live cooking demonstration while at the same time sharing biblical truths such as a knife being the double-edged sword of the Bible.

Renowned New Zealand chef Martin Bosley also spoke at the event about his culinary journey and his charity work with prisoners, called Prison Gate to Plate.

People were able to taste the gourmet pasta meal prepared by prisoners from the Rimutaka prison.

Director of CMF Patrica Sison said “Both Fr Leo and Martin Bosley are involved in the important work of helping prisoners out of a life recidivism.”

In the afternoon session, Leo, who is also a third-degree black belt instructor, treated the audience to a live martial arts demonstration as he explained aspects of spiritual warfare.

Sison said Leo is a multi-talented man with a deep prayer life and it shows in the ways he is able to relate faith with food and other aspects of life and, at the same time, communicate deep spiritual truths; much in the same way Jesus would have done through his parables.

Leo is the founder of Plating Grace, a movement to bring families back to the dinner table.

He believes the simple act of creating and sharing a meal can strengthen all kinds of relationships.

“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” he says.

He says it’s important to sit down at the table and have dinner with your kids, “it’s good for them and will make them better people.”

Leo is also an award-winning author and radio and tv show host. He has a weekly tv show called Savouring Our Faith on the Catholic Channel EWTN.

He lives in a consecrated community called Voluntas Dei (The Will of God).


Supplied: Patrica Sison, Director Centre for Marriage and Family

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