Tag Archives: Fr. Leo E. Patalinghug

Evangelize comrades like Christ did

Faith and business intersect within a company. Whether we can admit it, employees are talking about religion. Despite policies that religious, political, or incendiary topics not be discussed in the office, it happens. And I for one believe it’s a good thing.

All Christians are called to evangelize, which means “to share the Good News.” It’s different from proselytizing, which aims at converting people to one’s faith.

But it all begins with the boss! The boss has to integrate his or her faith in a way that welcomes these conversations and always in appropriate settings. Like dough leaven which adheres but doesn’t overtake other ingredients, a true leader must integrate and inspire. My recommendation is to do this with a meal!

Consider the word “company,” which shares the Latin roots as “companion” — cum (with) and panis (bread). In a company we literally break bread with each other. That carries religious connotations. Your business, then, is a place where YOU should break bread with employees, and that is the moment for evangelization.

When I see successful companies, what they seem to have in common is treating workers like a family. That means everyone is accorded respect; they know they are valued, seen, and heard. But, those companies that encourage a sense of sharing a meal, breaking bread together, are firms with the biggest impact on religious diversity and the company success.

In my speaking engagements at corporations, I’ve seen that when a head of a company takes time and eats with the employees — a very simple act — it creates a sense of family. The best part is, you don’t even have to speak about the catechism, dogma, or the Bible. Your very presence speaks loudly and clearly. By simply breaking bread, as Jesus did with His companions, He taught the lessons with actions that led to conversions.

Our call to evangelize means knowing our faith confidently so our actions speak louder than words. And, what better way to convey to employees that you appreciate them, care for them, and yes, want to bring salvation to them, than by simply being a companion and breaking bread with them.

LEO E. PATALINGHUG IV DEI, priest, author, speaker, TV and radio host, founder of Plating Grace and The Table Foundation. Learn more at FatherLeoFeeds.com


White Chocolate & Peach Bread Pudding • serves 6-8

Before you discard dry old bread, bring it to life in delicious bread pudding.

5-6 cups old bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup melted salted butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 15-ounce can chopped peaches
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of Grand Marnier (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Prepare baking dish and coat interior with non-stick butter. In large bowl, combine butter, eggs, vanilla extract, chopped peaches with juices, brown sugar, whole milk, and heavy whipping cream (optional Grand Marnier). Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Add bread to egg and milk mixture and fold the ingredients together until all pieces of bread have soaked up some egg wash. The consistency should be a soggy, but not broken, piece of bread. If necessary, beat 2 eggs, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1 cup of whipping cream all together and add it slowly at a time until you get the right consistency. When the bread begins to soak up the mixture, add the white chocolate chips and stir all together. Pour the bread into the prepared baking dish and bake in oven for about 35 minutes, until the edges and top start to turn golden brown. Remove, rest for 10 minutes before cutting or scooping into individual bowls. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprig of mint for decor.

Bitter herb of truth – we are all servants

There are times when food doesn’t lead to celebration, but feels more like chewing on bitter herbs of truth. 

The past news cycles have been hard to digest. We’ve swallowed a difficult pill called “truth.” The Catholic Church, though founded, sustained, and sanctified by Jesus Christ, is filled with flawed humans. Jesus chose as the first pope, the apostle who denied him three times.

Unfortunately, problems we’ve put on the back burner have bubbled over, creating a real mess. Part of solution is for the entire Church — from pilgrim to Pope — to remember who we are: We are servants.

The scandals, crimes, and cover-ups stem from brokenness in human nature and unhealthy nurturing. We need to heal, or at least manage natural brokenness and vices through prayer, spiritual direction, counseling, and if necessary, medical intervention. If not, our sinful tendencies become actions. That’s why Jesus, the Divine Physician, through the Sacred Food of the Eucharist, seeks to unite with us, in order to heal us.

The “nurture” part of the problem — the environment where sin festers — is through clericalism. It leads to living above the law and luxuriously at the expense and obedience of the flock. Prelates abused their authority over innocent children or seminarians learning obedience. Clericalism makes ordained men forget that at their first ordination, they put on a deacon’s dalmatic (a liturgical apron).
Unfortunately, a small number of priests and bishops drank the “Kool-Aid” of clericalism, like the religious leaders in Jesus’ time succumbed to hypocrisy and Pharisee-ism. Again, it’s a small number, but we know what a few bad apples can do to an entire cart.

Part of the solution requires priests to renew their identity as selfless, suffering servants (Isaiah 53). Unfortunately, Church protection policies plus clericalism have created a mindset that separates priests from having authentically healthy relationships with those they’re called to serve. Priests should not be afraid to meet people in their homes, roll up sleeves and wash dishes, take care of their own housekeeping, and live a life connected with everyday reality.

Consider St. Paul’s hard labor with and for the people he sought to convert. The more “connected” priests are to reality, the less likely they’ll live in a clerical bubble. Get to know your priests and help them stay connected to the people they’re called to serve.

Please, don’t see priests as “janitors,” but as “custodians” of the faith. We are not slaves, but servants. Priests are sacramental ministers, but also spiritual fathers.

To be part of the solution to the problem, raise a holy family and make sure your priest is a part of it. Go ahead and invite him over to dinner, and make sure he helps out with the dishes.


Lobster Roll-Inspired Tuna Melt

The bitter herb of arugula brings great flavor to a simple, tasty dish that I connect to a need for penance. It’s easy and delicious, and sharable when you have your priest over for a meal.


2 – 5oz. cans of tuna fish
Potato hot dog buns
1 tsp. minced shallot
1⁄2 tsp. minced garlic
Lemon zest
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 celery stalk
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
4 slices American cheese
4 oz. Arugula
Salt and pepper, to taste


Place tuna in strainer and drain. Mince shallot and garlic; add to lemon juice in a bowl, to mute flavor. Finely dice celery stalk. Add lemon zest to drained tuna fish.

Combine tuna, celery, shallot, garlic, and lemon juice with 2 tbsp. of mayo and mix, flaking tuna for a nice creamy texture. Heat cast-iron skillet and melt 1 tbsp. of butter. Place buns in pan and toast, then add cheese, lowering heat and adding tuna mixture. Cover to completely melt cheese and add a little arugula atop sandwich.


FR. LEO E. PATALINGHUG IVDEI, is a priest, author, speaker, TV and radio host, founder of Plating Grace and The Table Foundation. Learn more at FatherLeoFeeds.Com