Posted October 31st, 2007 | Events, Simply Blogging

Wednesday’s are the day the Grace Before Meals team sends out the weekly Blasts. But, since today (Wednesday) is Halloween, I figured you all may want to receive this week’s message, specifically about Halloween, to come before Halloween. So, if you’re wondering why you received the Blast one day early, it was simply because I asked and I received! Thanks to the GBM team for putting it out so quickly. Hopefully, this week’s blast can provide a different and even pastoral perspective on this unique “celebration.”

On a similar note of “timing” – I’ve heard from a few people that you would like some commentary on the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel, almost as a way to prepare for the weekend’s Mass. In the past, I’ve sent out homilies or put notes from the Gospels after the weekend. But, now with some of your questions, I think I’ll try and make commentaries (or little ferverinos) before the weekend. Incidentally, that would also help me make sure I’m taking time to prepare well for the Sunday Homily!

This weekend, my family will be coming to the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel, as I’ll be the principal celebrant. It will be their first visit to my new “home.” Mom also promised to bring some lumpia which is Filipino Styled Egg Rolls and some pancit, which is the Filipino dish with clear rice noodles, veggies and sauteed meats. Don’t you love it when your family comes bearing gifts!?!

May you all enjoy the blessings of these upcoming Holy Days – Feast of All Saints and the Feast of All Souls! May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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Posted October 29th, 2007 | Recipes

On Set and Ready to Go

Click here for the recipe and to see Deacon Dustin and me cook “live” with Holly Morris on Washington DC’s Fox 5 Morning.

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Posted October 29th, 2007 | Events, Food for the Soul

I thought you would also enjoy this little story in regards to the Holy Father’s desire to feed God’s Children!

Everyone Has a Right to Eat, Says Pope

Sends Message for U.N. World Food Day

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2007 ( Benedict XVI says that all people have a right to healthy and sufficient food, and that human egotism, more than natural disasters, is the cause of the phenomenon of wide-scale hunger.

The Pope stated that position in a message marking today’s celebration of the World Food Day, sponsored by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Holy Father called for a “consciousness of solidarity […] among the community of nations, a consciousness that considers food a universal right for all human beings, without distinction or discrimination.”

The Pontiff said he considers the theme chosen for this day, “The Right to Food,” as a tool to aid reflection in preparation for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“This coincidence helps us to think of the importance that the right to food has for the happy procurement of other rights, beginning before all with the fundamental right to life,” Benedict XVI said.

The Pope lamented that the number of starving people in the world is not diminishing significantly. He said: “This is due, perhaps, to a tendency to act motivated, solely or mainly, by technical and economic incentives, forgetting the priority of the ethical dimension of ‘feed the hungry.’

“This priority is linked to the sentiment of compassion and solidarity proper to human beings, which brings them to share with each other, not just in material things, but rather the love that all of us need. Effectively, we give too little if we only give material things.”

Human causes

The Holy Father explained that data show the causes of hunger to be “situations provoked by the behavior of people, which flow from a general social, economic and human deterioration” more than natural disasters or similar causes.

And the Pontiff noted “an ever growing number of persons that, because of poverty or bloody conflicts, find themselves obliged to leave their houses and their loved ones to look for survival away from their homeland. Despite international commitments, many of them are rejected.”

He continued: “The objective of eradicating hunger and at the same time, being able to count on sufficient and healthy food, also requires specific methods and actions that permit a utilization of resources respectful of the patrimony of creation.

“To work in this direction is a priority that implies not only benefiting from the results of science, investigation and technology, but also taking into account the cycles and rhythms of nature known by people in rural zones, as well as protecting the traditional practices of indigenous communities, leaving aside purely egotistical and economic reasoning.”

The papal message concludes considering the particular situation of children, who the Pope called “the first victims of this tragedy.”

He recalled that children’s physical or psychological development is sometimes hampered because of hunger, and noted that “on so many occasions, [children are] forced to work or enlisted by armed groups in exchange for receiving a few bites of food.”

“In this respect,” the Pontiff said, “I place my hope in the initiatives that have begun on a multilateral level to favor school food programs, which allow entire communities whose existence is threatened by hunger, to view the future with more hope.”

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Posted October 29th, 2007 | Events, Food for the Soul

This news clip came from, a fantastic site that will send to you regular messages regarding pontifical acts and other church related news. I wanted to include this and another little segment as it pertains to families and the faith of families. We’re reminded by our Holy Father that our families will only be as strong as the members of their families have Faith in God and His Church – which is God’s Family.

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 19, 2007 ( Benedict XVI urged Congolese bishops to promote the Christian family, despite cultural obstacles such as the exorbitant cost of dowries.

The Pope made that appeal today when he received in audience eight prelates from the Congolese bishops’ conference, who were completing their five-yearly visit.

The Holy Father addressed a variety of topics relevant to the situation in Congo.

He emphasized “the specific and concrete contribution of bishops in establishing peace and reconciliation in the country,” and made a call “to Christians and to the entire population to open the way to reconciliation so that ethnic and social differences, experienced with mutual respect and love, become a shared wealth and not a cause for division.”

The Pontiff referred to the bishops’ report that a “real dynamism” is needed in local Churches. He said that the witness of charity is a key element.

“Places in which the Gospel is lived and charity — especially with the poor — is practiced, demonstrate a form of pastoral care based on the idea of proximity, and also constitute a strong bulwark against the sects,” he said.

Key points

Benedict XVI gave special attention to the issue of Christian families in Congo, and the formation of priests.

He urged the prelates to concern themselves “with the initial and permanent Christian formation of the faithful, ensuring they understand the Christian mystery, and base themselves on the reading of Scripture and sacramental life.” And he asked them to help priests to lead “an ever more dignified and holy existence, rooted in a profound spiritual life and an emotional maturity lived in celibacy.”

“By remaining close to priests,” the Pope continued, “you will be for them models of priestly life and help them to a greater awareness of the sacramental fraternity that comes into being with ordination.

“I call upon the many Congolese priests who live outside their country to give serious consideration to the pastoral needs of their dioceses, and to take the necessary decisions in response to the urgent appeals of their diocesan Churches,” he added

The Pontiff said that “the noticeable reduction in the number of canonical marriages is a real challenge facing the family. … Civil legislation, the weakening of the family structure, and the weight of certain traditional practices, especially the exorbitant cost of dowries, are a real brake on young people’s commitment to marriage.”

“What is needed,” the Holy Father concluded, “is a profound pastoral reflection in order to promote the dignity of Christian marriage, the reflection and realization of Christ’s love for his Church. It is important to help couples to achieve the human and spiritual maturity necessary to undertake … their mission as Christian spouses and parents, reminding them that their love is unique, indissoluble, and that marriage contributes to the full realization of their human and Christian vocation.”

About half of the country’s 65 million inhabitants are Catholic.

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Posted October 23rd, 2007 | Recipes


  • 14 slices of white bread (with or without crust)
  • 2 cups of cream cheese (melted soft)
  • 1 cup of melted butter
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Cooking spray

Spray an oven-safe baking dish (9×13) with cooking spray. Layer the dish with 7 pieces of bread (if necessary, cut the bread so that it covers the entire bottom of the dish). Spread the melted (or softened) cream cheese over top the bread. Cover the cream cheese with the rest of the bread. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt, cinnamon, maple syrup, melted butter and milk. Pour the mixture over the bread. Cover with plastic and let rest in a refrigerator overnight. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top becomes a buttery golden brown.

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Posted October 22nd, 2007 | Past Emails

Click Here to check out this weeks email blast.

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