“The best preacher I ever had…”

He’s described by Pat Archbold: 

As I thought about it, I kept coming back to one particular priest that week in and week out offered good solid preaching.  I realized that he was the best preacher I ever had.  So what about his preaching made it so good?  Well, no one particular thing.  I have tried to distill certain elements of his preaching and other good preaching to come up with a list of things I think are at the root of it.

—He rarely gave a homily more than 10 minutes long.  Most of the homilies were in the 7-9 minute range.

—Every homily he gave was prepared in advance (with obvious care) and he worked from notes.

—He did not walk around during his homilies, but rather stayed put at the pulpit referencing his aforementioned notes but never reading.

—He spoke in a clear, assertive, and masculine style that avoided any misplaced interrogative lilt, the fake soft voice (think Harry Reid), or the sing-songy style so common today.  In short, he spoke as one with authority.

—His brief homilies and sermons generally sought to make a single point and to make it well.  He avoided the temptation to tangents and humorous asides.  Any stories or quotes served to illustrate the main thrust of his sermon.

—And perhaps most of all, his homilies and sermons were all theologically solid, teaching unequivocally what the Church teaches.  They were never fire and brimstone just as they were never soft-pedaled.  There is no greater sign of love than plain truth stated plainly.

I believe that his consistent application of the above principles and methods resulted in consistently good (and sometimes great) preaching.  Just as we emulate saints to be more holy, priests looking to become better preachers can emulate those who are so good.

Read on for more, and to discover who he’s describing.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X