Georgetown Oratory Event features TikTok celebrity, Barbara Costello

GEORGETOWN—Nearly 70 people came out for a Brunch with Babs, a unique celebration of food, faith, family and tradition. Barbara Costello, known as “Babs” to her 2 million TikTok viewers, is the internet’s favorite home cook and grandmother. She spreads joy and shares wisdom, one quick recipe at a time. 

The event, held at the Georgetown Oratory in Redding, Conn., was a fundraiser for the newly formed Guild of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. With the support of Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, evangelization through the artistic beauty in the Catholic tradition is at the heart of the Guild’s mission. The Guild seeks to inspire the faithful of all ages through sacred liturgy and Christ-centered programs. Brunch with Babs was a perfect kick-off, drawing in the young and old alike through the art of celebration.

“If anyone asked me two years ago to come and have brunch with Babs, I would’ve said, ‘Who’s she? I don’t know Babs!’ A humble opening line from the guest of honor, Barbara Costello, who, at 73 years young, made it clear from the start that her quick rise to internet fame is all God’s doing. Reminding everyone of the key to a successful life, “God first, family second.”

Everyone nodded in agreement at her claim that food evokes memories and nothing brings people together like sharing a good meal. With strong faith, love of family history, and the desire to form deep and meaningful connections, Costello had guests laughing and crying as they reflected on their recipes and traditions handed down to them by loved ones.  

Through touching stories of the hope her videos have offered to those living in the grip of despair and isolation, Costello addressed the power of social media, encouraging the crowd to use it for good. With something as simple and necessary as food, Costello has become a beacon of light through her obedience to God’s call and sharing with the world what matters most: the family. 

Over baked mac and cheese, strawberry salad and ice cream blueberry muffins, guests of the Oratory were reminded of the memories tied to our tried and true recipes and the importance of family and tradition. With over 700 published videos to date and a New York Times best-selling cookbook under her belt (or should we say apron?) Costello’s message at the Georgetown Oratory was loud and clear; “We are supposed to enjoy life!”

Enjoying life is precisely what the guests at the Oratory did. From the pink and white gingham tablecloths decorated with fresh flower centerpieces to the sparkling drinks in champagne glasses, beauty was everywhere, breaking down barriers and drawing the community together. Oratory Rector, Father Michael Clark, took to the mic, thanking Barbara for sharing her gifts, exclaiming, “If you like Babs, then you should come to The Guild! This is what it’s all about. Getting together and having fun!” 

Having fun is no small task, considering the past couple of years. This is why events like Brunch with Babs are crucial to our emotional, social and spiritual well-being, and why the Guild is quickly becoming a place of revival to the life of the community, church and world. People thrive in relationships and beauty truly does save the world. God, who is the supreme Beauty, woos us by way of beauty. Through Christ-centered events that celebrate the arts, the Guild is already opening hearts and minds, drawing people of all generations closer to God. A beautiful sight to behold, indeed.

Guests were able to purchase Costello’s cookbook Celebrate with Babs, with all proceeds benefiting the Georgetown Oratory. With its colorful pages and loving dedication to the Blessed Mother, some even took home multiple copies to pass on to daughters, sisters, and friends. The joy in the room was audible as Babs signed books, taking the time to visit personally, making everyone feel seen, heard and loved (an experience you can count on after every Sunday noon Mass at the Oratory, thanks to an incredible hospitality team). Guests left restored and inspired, eager to return to their own families and kitchens. One woman shared her thoughts: “Never say never! God can truly work through all of us, no matter our age, no matter our season!” And this is the beautiful truth. Everyone has a gift and vocation worthy of celebrating. As far as Costello is concerned, “My vocation is to do my little thing; to spread the good part, the family part, the wonderful food part, the fun!” 

We are all called to do our little thing, to celebrate the beauty of our God-given gifts, all for the praise and worship of Almighty God. This is what the Guild is all about, and Brunch with Babs was just the beginning of many Oratory celebrations.

(For more information on Mass times, future events, and how you can get involved, contact and follow The Guild on Instagram at @sacredheartguild.)

By Laura Phelps