SHAVERTOWN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A friendly cooking competition among dozens of Catholic priests in our area is underway and it’s all for a good cause.

The Diocese of Scranton is hosting its second-annual “Rectory, Set, Cook!” competition.

The all-virtual, cook-off-style fundraiser is an online showdown among more than 30 priests.

“Now we’re gonna try chocolate cupcakes and butter,” said Father James Paisley of Saint Therese and Saint Francis Cabrini Parishes.

Father Paisley is putting his unusual culinary skills to the test.

He’s one of more than 30 priests in the Diocese of Scranton taking part in the second-annual Rectory, Set, Cook! fundraising competition.

“Mmmm, that is delicious,” said Father Paisley.

Father Paisley won the virtual competition last year.

Participating parish priests star in videos showcasing a favorite recipe or recipe.

“This year something that I know absolutely nothing and that is tailgating so I did six strange combinations of food that you would not think went together but by my testing actually did,” said Paisley.

The videos are posted online and priests rely on Catholics near and far to show their support by making a donation.

Each $10 donation represents one vote for a pastor chef or team.

“Grab our lobster in the front, pull it up through here,” said Father Joseph Elston of Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Joseph Marello Parishes.

Father Elston knows his way around a kitchen.

“We’re gonna put some of this in the middle of your puff pastry dough,” said Father Elston.

Money raised from voting dollars supports the anti-hunger efforts of catholic social services.
It’s also a fun way to get to know the priests on a personal level.

“Most of us in this day and age, we don’t have cooks or housekeepers. We do our own thing, we make our own meals, some of us do better than others, and it’s a great way to show people that, yeah, we do the same thing that you do,” said Father Elston.

Last year, the competition raised more than $170,000 for parishes and anti-hunger initiatives.