Posted April 28th, 2009 | Recipe-Meats

Lamb Chops

4 rib rack of Baby Lamb Chop (Frenched, i.e., bone is cleaned to create a “handle”)

2 tablespoons of Olive oil

2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, minced

2 Garlic cloves, minced

½ cup of Italian Season Bread Crumbs

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Combine breadcrumbs, rosemary and garlic on a large plate and set aside. Season lamb chop with salt and pepper and then coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, making sure all parts has some oil on it. Dredge chops in coat with the bread crump mix. Heat remaining olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Sear chops on all sides for 1 minute each. Put on a baking rack and place in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, for a rare to medium temperature. Remove from the oven and let meat rest for about 5 -10 minutes before cutting it into individual chops. Serve with mustard and caper vinaigrette and scalloped potatoes with chives for a tasty treat that you will definitely want to thank God for!

Lamp Chops

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Posted April 26th, 2009 | Events

What a privilege to offer a Grace Before Meals Presentation to the St. Elizabeth Sodality in Rockville, MD.  It was a great event with a lot of enthusiasm for our movement. The focus for the women of this sodality group was “spiritual maternity” – i.e., how women, no matter if they are biological mothers or not, possess a gift of being a spiritual mother.


The proceeds for this communion breakfast went to a local pregnancy center that assists women who need help in the midst of a challenging pregnancy.  The very fact that they think of supporting other women in crisis shows they are truly exercising their spiritual maternity by spiritually assisting other moms.

One of the things my breakfast table talked about was how “spiritual maternity” has the responsibility to pray for vocations. Without prayers from spiritual moms, it is very difficult to develop spiritual brotherhood required for the priesthood.

After the big breakfast with the women, I needed to get out and enjoy the 90 degree weather.  And so I took a hike around the cotoctan mountains with some seminarians, “spiritual brothers.”  These young men are spending their last few days at the seminary together.  John Williams (left) has decided to take some time away from seminary discernment and will be a position similar to the  “dean of men” for the border students at the prestigious Georgetown Prep HS.  Tim Daniel was appointed by the Bishop to complete his theological training at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, my alma mater!  Despite their different vocational directions and distance, I urged them (as I do all seminarians) to continue fostering the spiritual friendship that every Christian Man needs!


Spiritual maternity and spiritual brotherhood is what we we’re all about at Grace Before Meals, simply because we’re all about the spiritual family!

Check out this last picture. When I got back from the hike, the Knights of Columbus were hosting an ice cream social for some of our seminarians.  One of the young men (young squires – i.e., young men who will eventually become Knights of Columbus) looked like a younger/smaller version of one of our seminarians (Scott Lutgring, left).  It was uncanny to see the similarities. They are not related, but they even dressed the same!


This gives new meaning to spiritual brotherhood!

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Posted April 25th, 2009 | Uncategorized

My brother is getting older!

img_0665                                                                                      Brother Carlos and his wife Alicia

But, he’s still so young at heart. In fact when people meet us, they think he’s younger than I am.  Therefore, I can’t tease him too much about getting older, because then people will assume that I am getting even older than I really am. Big bro, I’m praying for you and your family.  Thanks for being a good big brother, a good dad who has regular dinner times at home, and a good Catholic Man who shares regular meals with God and his family at Church every Sunday!

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Posted April 24th, 2009 | Food for the Soul, Grace Before Meals, Recipes

Olive-based Bruchetta



1.5 cups olives





1 baugette 



Add olive oil into pan over low heat.   Slice baguette and place in pan.   
Add  olives,  garlic, one anchovy,  lemon juice and fresh parsley  to a food processor.  Blend for a few minutes, adding additional olive oil as needed.  Sprinkle with salt.   Remove bread from pan and spoon olive paste on top.

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Posted April 23rd, 2009 | Uncategorized

The rainbow is a sign of God’s Covenant.  It was the sign – “the bow” – that God gave to Noah.  He would give the world new life – a life freed from sin for those who obey His command. I took this picture yesterday outside the seminary, overlooking echo field.


That Promise is what the entire church of St. Mary of the Mill prayed for when Fr. Joseph Mary Deane, CFR (and one of my best friends) led the entire family to pray for the repose of his mother’s soul.  He is such a man of faith, he truly knew that he was celebrating his mother’s entry into Eternal Life through God’s grace.  That’s the reason why he can smile before his mother’s funeral Mass!


Jean Dean died on Easter Monday, after battling some serious sickness and health problems.  But she endured these things with serious faith!  She died in her bedroom, surrounded by her children and loving husband, Jack after many years of faithful marriage.  


She expired as her Franciscan son priest celebrated Mass for her in her room.  What a way to leave this earth – while her son was saying Mass for her!

Jean was the type of person whose faith was very evident in everything she did. One of her daughters, Regina, shared a story about her mother’s compassion.  Jean was “famous” for bringing people to her home to feed them or offer them hospitality. Whether it was European backpackers who pitched tent in their backyard, or welcoming a homeless man to their home on Easter Sunday for a family meal.  Knowing that, the whole church was confident that Jesus would keep His promise: whatever you do to the least of my people, you do to Me.  We’re sure that God has a special place for her in heaven.


Since Fr. Joseph Mary is such a good friend, my heart hurt for his loss.  It was a sad, but hope-filled day.  I was also so proud of how he was able to celebrate the Mass so beautifully!  It made me think of the inevitable day when I would have to do the same. But for now, we can all just thank God for the life He gave us, and pray that we fulfill our end of the “covenant”.

At the end of the funeral, as crowds made their way to the reception, the rest of the Franciscan Friars made their way to the chapel to pray before the exposed Blessed Sacrament.  It’s another way that God keeps his promise – that He would be with us always until the end of time!


May Jean’s soul rest in the peace of God. May the entire Deane family continue to know of God’s merciful love, which is our only consolation.  May they also know of the Lord’s promise of the Resurrection as our only hope!

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Posted April 21st, 2009 | Recipe-Side Dishes

Avocado and Salmon Salad

1 avocado

4 slices smoked salmon

1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper


Carefully cut open the avocado and remove the seed. After you carefully scoop out the meat from the peal, score the avocado length wise to create “slices.” (NOTE: Immediately drizzle with lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown.) Then, assemble the avocado on a plate and season with a dash of salt and pepper. Top off with 1-2 slices of smoked salmon. Drizzle with some olive oil, and garnish with lemon wedge and cilantro.

Salmon and Avocado Salad

Avocado and Salmon Salad

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