The Theology of Food

Common meals at the St. Joseph Discernment House

Bro. Chris Torrijas, C.S.C. and  resident chef and Aspirant David Slonkosky.

It is safe to say that whenever my family gets together there will be food. This is also true about our greater Catholic family and specifically the Holy Cross family. We do after all, week after week gather around the altar for the ultimate meal, the feast of the most Holy Eucharist. As I live with the Brothers of Holy Cross as an aspirant I see a strong parallel between religious life and a theology of food. I have been blessed not only to live with the Brothers but also to cook for them as their resident chef.

Before moving to Holy Cross College I had completed my degree from The Culinary Institute of America so this came in handy when I found out the Brothers were looking for a cook. Living in the house we share a common space, common prayer and common meals. I have learned from the Brothers that these three things are the foundation for community. When I serve a meal to my fellow housemates and our many guests I like to think that I am participating in the Eucharistic mission and call of Christ “that we may all be one.” As we gather at table to eat herbed roasted potatoes, garlic lemon green beans and grilled sausage, we not only eat delicious food but we also enjoy the conversation that springs forth from a fine meal. This conversation has become a main source for unity. Night after night I have felt our separate lives become one.

Everyone in the house has busy schedules but we all make an intentional decision to come together in the evening to share a meal.

This is not just to provide sustenance for our bodies but it is to unite our lives just as we unite ourselves to the Body of Christ at Mass. We share our struggles and our joys, our hopes and our passions all while eating our earthly food. This is why I am honored to cook. I get to participate in the beautiful process of building community through my cooking.  The Brothers have inspired me to see my cooking as a way that I can give my talents to God for the Kingdom. Hopefully just as the meal we share at mass provides us the means to go out and spread the gospel, I hope the meals I make in our house provide us with the fraternal unity and inspiration to spread the good news.

From our dinner table to yours, may your dining table be filled with family, friends, and food and may the meals you share there bring you to the ultimate feast of eternal life! Amen!!

David Slonkosky, Aspirant