Homily for April 20, 2014: Easter

Just yesterday, I got an email from a friend who is a priest in South Carolina. He had some wonderful news to share. Effective today, Easter, the Catholic Church has one more parish in the United States of America.  The country’s newest parish is St. Claire of Assisi in Daniel Island, South Carolina, in the [Read More...]

Good Friday homily: “Who can say what transpired in Judas’s soul during his final moments?”

From the Good Friday homily this year, here’s Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the papal household, preaching in St. Peter’s today on idols, money, mercy, Judas—and the simple (but often forgotten) church teaching that we cannot say for certain that there is any particular person is in hell: One can betray Jesus for other kinds [Read More...]

Homily for April 18, 2014: Good Friday

About 15 years ago, my wife and I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There, in the Old City of Jerusalem, we walked the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross, passing shops and souvenir vendors selling cards and olive wood crosses.  We prayed at the stations, and we encountered many of the sites [Read More...]

Papal preacher: “The Church must never look like a complicated and cluttered castle…”

I stumbled on this homily today, and it seems both appropriate and prophetic. It comes from the preacher of the Pontifical Household, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa. It’s part of his Good Friday homily from last year:  We must do everything possible so that the Church may never look like that complicated and cluttered castle [described [Read More...]


As we prepare to begin the Triduum, I thought I’d post a few homiletic thoughts from the last few years… Holy Thursday 2010:  Tonight, God gets down on his knees for us.Tonight, He lowers himself. Tonight, He becomes a servant to the world — as humble as a slave, as meager and plain as a [Read More...]

Boston’s O’Malley: “Say no to pessimism”

Some great stuff here, from Cardinal Seán O’Malley’s Chrism Mass homily yesterday: We gather for the annual oil change and tune up. The oils are the tools we use in the ministry we share, but just as important is our own tune up as we gather as presbyterate to recommit ourselves to follow Christ and [Read More...]

Homily for April 13, 2014: Palm Sunday

Back in the 1960s, there was a TV show called “That Was The Week That Was,” which satirized current events.  In many ways, it was a precursor to “Saturday Night Live” or “The Daily Show.” Well, what we are beginning today will commemorate the ultimate “week that was.” I’d like to take just a moment [Read More...]

Homily for April 6, 2014: 5th Sunday of Lent

Several days ago, we got a glimpse of the papacy that made history—something that was both surprising and beautiful. After leading a televised penance service at St. Peter’s, Pope Francis walked down a side aisle to begin hearing confessions. He passed an open confessional, with a priest quietly waiting inside, and got an idea. He [Read More...]

Homily for March 30, 2014: 4th Sunday of Lent

If you asked me, “who is the most influential Catholic woman in the world right now,” the answer would be easy. Sister Cristina. Last week, this 25-year-old Ursuline nun from Sicily, Sister Cristina, appeared on Italy’s version of “The Voice,” the popular singing competition show. If you’ve seen it on NBC, you know how it [Read More...]

“How can this be?”: a homily for The Annunciation

From the vault, here’s part of a homily from Advent in 2008, with some thoughts on the feast we celebrate on March 25: +++ How many of us have been blindsided by events we never expected – a twist on  life’s path that we never saw coming, for better or for worse — and asked  [Read More...]