My Breakfast with Fr. Leo Patalinghug


DSC05196This morning, Fr. Leo Patalinghug — of Grace Before Meals and recent Food Network fame — cooked breakfast for me!  Actually, he cooked for over 200 guests, all local members of our Catholic Professional and Business Club.  And he did it while giving an hour long keynote address that had the audience laughing out loud, wiping away sentimental tears, nodding in acknowledgment of his message, and basking in the fun attitude he exudes.

DSC05201Fr. Leo is the author of Grace Before Meals: Recipes for Family Life, one of the few cookbooks I have actually ever read and used!  My personal copy was a gift from Deacon Tom Fox and is autographed by Fr. Leo – I almost don’t want to use it for fear that one of Fr. Leo’s signature recipes will be dripped on the pages, but this book is too good not to enjoy.

Fr. Leo’s talk this morning was very fitting, coming as we commemorate the events of September 11, 2001.  He shared with us that the origins of his Grace Before Meals ministry came about in the days immediately following 9/11, when he and his brother priests were on retreat together.  It was an amazing story, told with wit and energy.  When listening to Fr. Leo or watching him cook, you can’t help but cheer for him – I truly hope that he finds success on network television, where he can share an example of a holy Catholic priest living life to its fullest.  His message this morning also reminded us that gathering with our families around special meals, even the non-gourmet variety, draws us closer to one another and to the God who loves us so greatly.

I hope someday you have the treat of enjoying a home-cooked meal from Fr. Leo.  But in the mean time, you can take advantage of his wisdom by acquiring your own copy of Grace Before Meals: Recipes for Family Life and visiting him at

View my photos of Breakfast with Fr. Leo at Facebook.


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. Oh my goodness, I forgot he was coming to Fresno. I wanted to go hear him speak. I’ve had so many things on my mind, sorry I missed it. Great picture.

  2. What a treat, both the Catholic Professionals and Business Club and having Fr. Leo cook for you! I love receiving his e-newsletters.

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