What a week of highs and lows for our faithful foodie followers!

One of the blessings has been the recent 2018 World Meeting of Families Celebrations in Dublin, Ireland.  Though beleaguered, the Catholics in Ireland came for hope, seeking a reason to celebrate their faith, and they’re all looking for something to strengthen family life.

Dad helping his little son put the Papal Flag together – an analogy of what we need to do with our church: put it back together.

I was honored to have been invited to present 5 different talks, some with cooking demonstrations and one with martial arts demonstrations.  It was an incredible opportunity!

I also think many people really enjoyed my talks because my conference room was PACKED with hungry souls!  But, there were also some interesting articles about my presentation that questioned whether my presentations would even be interesting or applicable to the World Meeting of Families.

Check out these articles:

FILLING THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS

COOKING PRIEST ENCOURAGES COUPLES TO SPICE UP THEIR MARRIED LIFE WITH FAITH AND SACRIFICE

I snuck this photo from the stage about 15 minutes before the presentation.  The people were jammed all around the sides, sitting on the floor, probably thinking I was going to “multiply” the food for them.

Regardless of what people thought before my talk, I’m glad to know that after my presentation, the people who attended now understand that food and faith are completely related!  It was a wonderful experience of multicultural families and a great opportunity to see how we’re all connected!

So happy to see so many young people attend the presentations, including these hungry Spaniards, some of whom helped me with my “Saints” talk.

Our connectedness led to some very low points as well.  The ongoing bombshell reports of scandals, abuse, crime and cover-ups at the highest levels of the Vatican cast a dark shadow over the celebrations.

While it’s incredibly discouraging, painful and disgusting to hear of these crimes and sins, I realize that we must first have compassion for all of the victims.  Their pain is our pain!  At the same time, the brokenness of the church, evident through these abusive crimes, requires us to do what we can to grow stronger in our own faith.  We may think that the Church is only about priest and nuns.

This week of the World Meeting of Families demonstrated how every person needs to get involved. If we seek a just world and a more faithful church, we can’t sit on the sidelines.  This international gathering showed me how seriously we must take our faith, and also how we need to celebrate the faith.  The bad news is terrible.  But, there is definitely more good new than bad news!

This wonderful Australian Family attended the previous World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and now they’re convinced to save money for the future gatherings. The parents felt this was one of the best things they could provide for their children – a beautiful and universal experience of faith!

There will always be ups and downs in life, and in our faith.  I pray that you’ll be able to weather the storms, like the people in Ireland did as they prepared for Mass with the Pope.  Around the Lord’s Altar, the Church’s Dining Room Table, we experience the low points of the cross; but if we are faithful, we will also share in the springtime and resurrection of the Lord.

The scene after the Mass – everyone rushed to get a picture near the Altar – the Sacred Table for the World Meeting of Families.

 

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