Sr. Alicia Torres is the nun that wowed fans and, more importantly, the judges of the Food Network hit television show “Chopped” with her culinary skills this past week. Her prize of 10,000 dollars will go to help the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels hunger center that her order, the Franciscans of the Eucharist, operates in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago.
It was there that Sr. Alicia has been able to hone her culinary skills by cooking for anywhere from 200-600 people during community dinners. “A lot of what we receive can be random, so we have to learn to use what we receive and be the best stewards of those donations to give people healthy meals,” she said in a news interview.
Although Sr. Alicia obviously showed her skills as a chef in the competition, she is much more than your average cook. Here is a video that she previously produced with Outside Da Box that shares the story of her vocation.
Sr. Alicia’s Vocation Story
Has she captivated your heart yet? I found myself immediately enthralled by her purity and the joy she clearly has for her vocation. She has a passion to serve the Lord and a love for serving God’s people that is almost contagious. One of the things I find most inspiring about her is the way she has taken a gift, cooking, and creatively turned it into something that can be used to witness the love of Jesus and to share the Gospel message.
We are called to do the same.
Whether your gift is music, sewing, or athletics, each one of us is called to use that gift in a way that brings glory and honor to God. There is no gift too “secular” for God to use. If He has blessed you with a talent, it is your job to take that and find a way to use it that will bring others to Him. (See The Parable of the Talents Matthew 25: 14-30)
In an interview with a local news station, Sr. Alicia said, ““There’s no reason why we can’t use Twitter or email or even be on national TV to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the world.” Not only is her story a reminder to use our talents for God’s glory, but also to use technology to share the love of God with others. Sr. Alicia even has her own Youtube channel with videos about her order and her mission. She’s just so cool, inspiring, and faithful that we had to share her story.
If you want to watch her post-show interview, you can find it here. The Food Network will also be replaying the show titled “Thanksgiving Soup-er Stars” several times throughout November.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, Sr. Alicia’s favorite recipe: guacamole. Yum! Just another reason to like her.
Questions for Reflection:
1.) What are my gifts and talents? How can I better use them to glorify God? What are some creative and innovative ways to use my gifts?
2.) When was the last time you used social media to share a message about God – a quote, a Bible verse, a super cool Catholic Link post? Do you think this is an effective way to evangelize? Why or why not?
3.) What virtues of Sr. Alicia do you admire most? How can you emulate them?
4.) Is your joy and heart of service contagious in the same way that Sr. Alicia’s is? How can your life be more of a witness of the joy of the Gospel and the love of Jesus?
5.) Sr. Alicia works directly with the poor daily. When was your last interaction with the poor? Can you serve in a more meaningful way during the upcoming Christmas season?