November 29, 2019

National Catholic Youth Conference 2019

‘Cooking priest’ shares special recipe for teenagers to get to heaven

By John Shaughnessy

Known as “the cooking priest,” Voluntas Dei Father Leo Patalinghug has a reputation for creating meals that have been described as heavenly.

During the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis on Nov. 22, he provided a different kind of recipe—“Five Steps to Become a Teenage Saint”—to help youths get to heaven.

Yet before he offered those steps during one of the many workshop sessions at the conference, Father Leo stressed two points.

The first point he shared was, “Being a saint is our calling in life.”

His second point began with a question for the youths: “Do you want to get to heaven? Then you’d better be a saint.”

He then stressed that everyone can become a saint if they follow these five steps:

Reach out to God. “The first step in becoming a saint is realizing that you are not a saint and you need help. How are you going to be a saint if you’re not trying to reach out to God? Try!

“Maybe you can try by reaching out to a sinner or someone who is poor. Or how about this—reach out and call up your priest and say, ‘You know what, I’m struggling. Help me.’ Reach out.”

Call out for God: “You got to say, ‘God save me.’ ” God is going to give you the greatest gift you can ever imagine—the gift of himself. At Christmas, God comes out of heaven and into this ugly, messy world” for everyone.

Be sanctified: “Let God come into your life and cut sin away. You do not have that power, but God does.

“We have a sacrament to help us to become saints. You want to find saints? Look for them in the confessional. For it is there that they tell the truth, and the truth sets them free.”

Be bound to God: “God can interpret the groans of our hearts. God understands us. God can give life to us all.”

Be a bridge to God for others: Become “a bridge, not a barrier” for other people in their relationships with God.

Summing up, Father Leo said, “That’s what you can do. It’s that easy, but also that difficult. Let’s be honest. It’s not as easy as saying, ‘God save me,’ and it comes so quickly.

“It requires us to be willing to practice our faith and to be faithful in practicing our faith. It requires us to be consistent, and to make sure you surround yourself with all of the right people. It’s a total stretching.” †

See more coverage from NCYC 2019

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!