Tell us about yourself and your family
Blessed to be married for 30 years to my husband, Tom, I rejoice and thank God for our five beautiful children. Three are grown, and are serving the world with their varied gifts and talents: a technology coach in an elementary school, a social worker for the homeless, and a mission worker with the Culture Project International. Another heads to college in the fall, and the last will finish his high school career in two years. My husband is the principal of a Catholic high school, and I have been homeschooling for 20 years, studying and taking classes myself, and working for the Church part time as Coordinator of Marriage Ministry for the diocese and as a speaker. These years as a wife, a mother, and an evangelist have been rich. Grace upon grace has been given us as we stand on the rock of our Catholic Faith.
Share your family’s favorite recipe
With many children, God has certainly called me in a special way to feed my family! Over the years, the family dinner has been an important way to preserve family unity. No matter what the schedule, we have insisted on the family gathering at the table! My husband is 100% Italian, and my Irish descent left me lacking as a cook in our early years, but Tom has trained me so well that now I can boast of my awesome homemade pizza- a family fave. Starting with dough made in the bread machine, and rolled out thin, toppings of all kinds have been experimented with over the years. White pizzas with ricotta cheese, spinach and onions are enjoyed along with red sauce and mozzarella cheese pies and the latest topping crazes popular with ravenous teenage boys- strips of chicken loaded with hot sauce or a meat lovers meatball and sausage.
One summer when all the kids were home, inspired by the Food Channel’s competitive shows, we decided to engage in “pizza wars.” We made teams of two to create the wildest pizzas we could and asked outside family members and friends to come and be judges. Flour was tossed and chefs were elbowed as we raced to set out our prized finished products! Winner pizza pies included ones with herbal pesto sauces and a western pie with barbecue sauce and French fries on top!
How does your work help “feed” people spiritually?
God has also called me to spiritually feed my larger Catholic Family. Having a passionate love for our faith has led me to years of study, with a distinct focus on St John Paul II”s Theology of the Body.
A certified graduate of the Theology of the Body Institute in Downingtown, PA, I have had the distinct privilege of writing and presenting talks as I share this glorious teaching with people of all ages and backgrounds. It is my belief that what St John Paul II communicates is a timely message for many who are unaware of their identity as son or daughter of the Father, and as made in God’s image and likeness. Every person created was made for and is destined to share in the profound relationship of love within the Trinity, and will remain restless until he/she dwells there. I’ve been taught to proclaim this message with emphasis on mystery, beauty, our dignity, and the glory to come. And my experience has been that hearts leap with joy in response! People hear an echo in their hearts that speaks to this knowledge of the Divine Lover’s call to be one with them- in everything. This means God is especially eager to meet us in our messy wounds, and even finds us most attractive right there. Messages of Merciful Love like these are not what many people have experienced and I have witnessed the glory of hearts who are touched, refreshed, and invigorated by the invitation God makes to them through the Theology of their bodies!
If you would like to schedule a talk, feel free to contact me at [email protected]
Share a Fun Fact about yourself or your family
Every Christmas we choose names out of a hat to exchange a gift with one family member. The hitch is that it has to be homemade! We’ve exchanged board games like “Apples to Apples, Costello edition,” sung original songs, been given hand-painted pictures or note cards, heart-shaped wood carvings and eaten delicious cupcakes. In the months and weeks before Christmas, family members engage in all sorts of trickery in a constant effort to get someone to accidentally slip and tell whose name they have. Each person’s creative heart is offered along with the material gift- that’s what makes it so unique and special.
Share your family’s favorite grace before meals prayer
When we have guests for dinner, we warn them before we start grace to hang in there for the “litany.” We chuckle as we suggest they jump in with “pray for us.” Ever since the children have been is preschool, we have continued to add a list of saints for different reasons, and special intentions to our prayer. Here we go:
“Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen. May God provide for the wants of the poor and may the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen. Mary Help of Christians pray for us, St John Bosco pray for us, St Francis pray for us, St Joseph pray for us, St Thomas pray for us, St John Paul the Great pray for us, St John XXIII pray for us and St Peregrine pray for all those who have cancer. God bless our family and God bless all those we love especially Sarah, Kelly, Tommy, (our three grown children )and Ruth (our sponsored child from Africa). (We also then include our guests and their families.)
Complete the sentence: When you join us at our dinner table, …
…you will eat well, laugh, know you are always welcome and feel as if you are home.
Copyright 2016 Cindy Costello