The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.

at BENEDICTINE COLLEGE

A Catholic Prayer for Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgivingoriginal

Dear Lord, on this Thanksgiving Day, let this dinner stand as a symbol of all the blessings you have given us this year.

Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful turkey, a symbol of your providence.  Just as you provided for the Israelites quail on their journey, you provided the turkey to our American forebears, and you still send what we need to this day.

Thank you, Lord, for these mashed potatoes, a symbol of our work. These potatoes are pulled out of the earth itself to show how you bless our hard work in every walk of life.

Thank you, Lord, for cranberry sauce. Like the bitter herbs at the Seder meal, the sour cranberry can remind us of the religious persecution the pilgrims escaped in America. Thank you for our religious freedom. Please preserve this great gift in our nation.

Thank you, Lord, for pumpkin pie, a beautiful symbol of our Catholic faith in America. Catholics invented the pie in the Middle Ages, and we filled it with the fruit of the pumpkin, which is only found in America. May we likewise fill your unchanging faith with new expressions.

Dear Lord, we ask that you bless America on this Thanksgiving Day through the intercession of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, patron saint of Native Americans, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, born in 1774 in New York. Like them, make us willing to sacrifice for our faith and tirelessly serve the poor and sick.

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Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes, author of The Rosary of Saint John Paul II, The Fatima Family Handbook and What Pope Francis Really Said, is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Kansas. A former reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, he served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman and spent 10 years as executive editor of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine. He writes weekly for the National Catholic Register and Aleteia. His work frequently appears in Catholic publications such as Catholic Digest. He lives in Atchison, Kansas, with his wife, April, and has nine children.