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Strengthening the Domestic Church

Holy meals to build up the family

February 14, 2023  0


A Catholic priest and a professor are teaming up to help sanctify the dinner table.

In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses a book full of bodily and spiritual nourishment. 

Michael Foley, Ph.D., Catholic author and professor: "Eating is basically a selfish act. You are — not in a bad way — but you're doing it for survival. And yet the meal takes on such great cultural significance."

Dr. Michael Foley is partnering with "the cooking priest," Fr. Leo Patalinghug, to provide Catholics with a holy cookbook.

For each part of the year, Dining With the Saints features stories of saints and recipes associated with them.

Foley: "I dig down deep into the lives of the saints to actually figure out what their dietary habits were. What did they like to eat? And then try to find a recipe that would honor their own preferences."

The book also helps Catholics to follow the liturgical season through their meals, with recipes that help the faithful fast and feast with the Church.

Foley: "We can fall into one of two extremes. Where we can fall into a pattern of gluttony, in which case, the fasting part of the Church is so important. But we can also fall into an unhealthy asceticism."

The book is particularly geared towards promoting more family dinners and gives prompts for fruitful mealtime conversation.

Foley: "For this book, we tagged the motto 'the family that dines together, shines together.' Dining With the Saints will provide food for thought, grist for the meal. Something to talk about during the family meal."

Some avoid family dinners or use technology at the table because of potential arguments, which can make things even worse. 


You learn how to disagree. This is part of the problem with everyone on their phones. There's no human interaction any more. And we just tune out people that we disagree with. But to be forced at the table and have a conversation even with someone you disagree with, that is a very important social skill.

According to a 2022 Harvard report, only about 30% of families regularly eat together, despite 80% of surveyed teens declaring family dinner to be the time of day they're most likely to talk to their parents. 

Additionally, a survey from the American Heart Association found 91% of parents claim their families are less stressed when they share meals. 

Foley: "Stick to it, even if it is not always pleasant."

The continuing collapse of society is only made possible by the continuing destruction of the family, and holy meals are a great way to strengthen the domestic church.

To learn more about Dining With the Saints, please visit our website and watch our full interview with Dr. Michael Foley.

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