Father Joseph J. Pisaneschi, pastor, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, and parishioner Maria Englot prepare Pesce al sugo, a traditional Italian dish originating from Sicily. (Photos/Eric Deabill)
Father John C. Lambert, pastor, Saints Peter & Paul Parish, cooks up a Guinness Irish stew recipe.

Update: The Rectory, Set, Cook! fundraiser is underway. To view all of the “pastor chef” videos and vote for your favorite – visit https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/PASTORCHEF


SCRANTON – Did you know Bishop Bambera, a seafood fan, also makes a mean meatloaf? Or that Father Seth Wasnock puts cinnamon in his pasta sauce? Did you also know Father David Cappelloni makes his own pasta – and Italian doughnuts for dessert?

You can learn many more such tasty tidbits by supporting the Diocese of Scranton’s first-ever, all-virtual, cook-off-style fundraiser, which will be a friendly online showdown among more than 25 priests, most of whom know their way around a kitchen.

Rectory, Set, Cook! is scheduled for launch on Fat Tuesday (March 1), and we are inviting Catholics across the Diocese to help turn up the heat and get out the vote for their favorite videos, pastors and recipes.

Participating parish priests are starring in individual videos showcasing a favorite recipe or recipes and counting on their flocks and friends far and near to show their support by making monetary donations as small as $10. Each $10 donation will represent one vote for a pastor chef or team.

Participants can vote as many times as they would like and for as many priests as they would like. The website will be live for nearly six weeks, with winners – those who raise the most dollars – announced in mid-April. Printed cookbooks with all showcased recipes also will be available for purchase online.

Rectory, Set, Cook! will acquaint Catholics with some of the Diocese’s finest priests on a more personal level, but the best part is all voting dollars will support the anti-hunger efforts of Catholic Social Services – Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen as well as food pantries and programs across the CSS footprint – and the parishes that signed up a chef. Voting dollars will be shared 50-50 between Catholic Social Services and the participating parishes.

All sponsorship dollars will go directly to Catholic Social Services’ anti-hunger efforts. Presenting sponsor – The Executive Chef Sponsor – for this new Diocesan initiative is the Hawk Family Foundation. Other committed sponsors include McCarthy Tire and Automotive, Metz Culinary Management and Damage Control, Inc.

We are still seeking additional corporate and individual or family sponsors. For more information about sponsorships and the range of sponsorship benefits, please contact Rectory, Set, Cook! event director Sandra Snyder in the Diocesan Development Office at (570) 591-5004 or Sandra-Snyder@dioceseofscranton.org.

The event website will debut March 1, and will be linked through Diocesan social media and in the next edition of The Catholic Light. Sponsorship deadline is Feb. 23.