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...]

Homily for March 23, 2014: 3rd Sunday of Lent

In late February, I received an email from a woman in the Michigan. She had stumbled across my blog and she wanted to share something with me. She told me she was born and raised Catholic, and was educated by Dominicans, but had left the faith when she was young. She ended up joining the [Read More...]

“Where is my confidence? In the Lord? Or am I a pagan, who confides in things, in idols I have made?”

Once again, in his daily homily, Pope Francis touches on a favorite theme and image: idols.  (Are your ears burning, Elizabeth?) From the Vatican:  “The one who trusts in himself, in his own richness or ideologies is destined for unhappiness. The one who trusts in the Lord, on the other hand, bears fruit even of [Read More...]

Homily for March 16, 2014: 2nd Sunday of Lent

Our parish will be showing a video for the Annual Catholic Appeal this Sunday. Homilies will be brief. Here’s my homily, however, from the 2nd Sunday of Lent in 2008.  How is your Lent going? Right about now is when the newness and fervor start to wear off. We’ve left the ashes in the bathroom [Read More...]