A little help making holiday cocktails — from the Saints

Holy Name Parish to hold fundraiser featuring author of Drinking with the Saints

Aaron Lambert

Despite popular belief, adult beverages and the Catholic Church definitely go hand in hand; just ask Dr. Michael Foley, author of Drinking with the Saints: The Sinners Guide to a Holy Happy Hour.

“I believe that a healthy faith and a healthy drinking culture go hand in hand,” Foley told the Denver Catholic.

On Dec. 10, Holy Name Parish in Sheridan will host Foley as he speaks about his book, which is essentially a bartender’s guide mixed with an encyclopedia of saints. The evening will feature a silent auction, and samples of the some of the drinks featured in the book will be provided. All are invited, and proceeds from the $10 cover fee will benefit the expansion of Holy Name’s parish hall.

Father Daniel Cardo, pastor of Holy Name, said the purpose of the occasion is two-fold; the holidays bring with them lots of gatherings and parties, and Father Cardo thought it would be nice to provide some mixed drink ideas for hosts to serve their guests. More importantly though, he said it’s a way to bring Christ back to Christmas.

“In these celebrations and gatherings for family and friends, we want to bring Christ, but we know it’s difficult,” Father Cardo said. “Many people don’t think about Jesus during Christmas, sadly, so my hope is that this event will also give us some elements as to how, in a very friendly and loving way, to be able to bring Jesus Christ back to our Christmas gatherings.”

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Drinking with the Saints by Michael Foley pairs cocktails, wine and beer suggestions with the many feast days in the Church’s liturgical year. (Image provided)

The idea for Drinking with the Saints was sparked by Foley’s family traditions and his love of a good cocktail. The book is organized by the liturgical year and features over 350 cocktails in addition to wine and beer suggestions, all paired with the Church’s feast days. Each day features a drink suggestion and a short biography of the saint, rife with interesting facts.

“I got the idea to write the book from my own family’s customs – we enjoy the liturgical year – and also my wife and I enjoy an evening cocktail, so it was only a matter of time before those two things came together,” Foley said.

The book, Father Cardo said, is thoroughly researched, and does a good job of presenting biographical information about various saints in a fun manner.

“The book is a very interesting combination of a lot of research, but expressed in a fun and deeply Catholic way,” he said. “It has a lot of information about the saints and the liturgical year, and a lot if information about drinks, which offers a very virtuous, human and fun way of enjoying God’s blessings.”

He added, “I think it makes a great Christmas present.”

A drink recipe from Michael Foley

Two days prior to Foley’s talk at Holy Name is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The author was kind enough to share with the Denver Catholic a recipe for a “White Lady,” which he said was “an appropriate cocktail salute to Our Lady’s immaculate purity.”

White Lady
1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. triple sec or Cointreau
1/2 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 egg white (optional but tasty)
Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Drinking with the Saints

Saturday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m., $10
Holy Name Parish
3290 W. Milan Ave.
Sheridan, CO 80110

For more information, and to buy the book, visit drinkingwiththesaints.com

COMING UP: From rare books to online resources, archdiocesan library has long history of service to students

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National Library Week, observed this year from April 4 to April 10, is the perfect occasion to highlight the essential role of libraries and library staff in strengthening our communities – and our very own Cardinal Stafford Library at the Archdiocese of Denver is no exception.  

Since 1932, the library has served as a religious, intellectual, and cultural resource for seminarians and students at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver.

As the library of the seminary, we are always responsible for the four dimensions of the priestly formation of our seminarians. The library is charged with being responsible to all the divisions of the Seminary: the Lay Division (Catholic Biblical School and Catholic Catechetical School), the Permanent Deacon Formation Division, and the Priestly Formation Division, said Stephen Sweeney, Library Director. 

In addition to being one of the main resources to the seminary, the Cardinal Stafford Library serves the needs of other educational programs in the Archdiocese of Denver, including the St. Francis School for Deacons, the Biblical School, the Catechetical School and the Augustine Institute. While the library is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was previously open to anyone, giving people access to more than 150,000 books, audios, and videos. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library was named after Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, Apostolic Penitentiary at the Vatican and former Archbishop of Denver from 1986 to 1996. He was a dedicated advocate of the library and of Catholic education.

In 1932, the library was established by two seminarians, Maurice Helmann and Barry Wogan. While they were not the first seminarians to conceive the idea of establishing a library, they are considered the founders for undertaking its organization.  

Since its founding, the library has grown and compiled a fine collection of resources on Catholic theology, Church history, biblical studies, liturgy, canon law, religious art, philosophy, and literature. Special collections include over 500 rare books dating back to the early 16th century and many periodicals dating back to the 1800s. The oldest publication in the library is a book on excommunication published in 1510. The Cardinal Stafford Library is also home to various relics and holds bills personally written by some of those saints.  

Over the past few years, the library has undergone a process of beautification through various renovations that include improvements in lighting, flooring, and even furniture restoration. During these difficult times, libraries are doing their best to adapt to our changing world by expanding their digital resources to reach those who don’t have access to them from home. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library provides a community space; we subscribe to about 200 print journals and have access to literally thousands more through online resources available on campus computers, Sweeney added. “I have been the Library Director for almost 11 years. I absolutely love my work, especially participating in the intellectual formation of the faithful from all of the dioceses we serve”.  

For more information on the Cardinal Stafford Library, visit: sjvdenver.edu/library 

Featured photo by Andrew Wright