Homily for May 11, 2014: 4th Sunday of Easter

On a spring morning in 2010, a young man by the name of Dayan Machado found himself in a place he once would never have expected:  face down on the floor of a cathedral in Florida, praying to the saints. How he got there is a story unto itself—and illustrates beautifully, I think, part of [Read More...]

Homily for May 4, 2014: 3rd Sunday of Easter

For a woman in Davidson, North Carolina, it was a disturbing sight. Driving by the local Episcopal church, she noticed a vagrant sleeping on a bench outside. She called the police, who came to investigate. It turned out to be a false alarm. The homeless man on the bench wasn’t a man at all. It [Read More...]

The Nazareths of John Paul

From the vault, here’s part of a homily I delivered in 2011, on the occasion of the beatification of Pope John Paul II:  Less than a third of John Paul’s 85 years were spent as pope.  Most of his life, in fact, was spent living and working and praying among ordinary men and women in [Read More...]

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...]