On preaching: let the message be God’s, not yours

Last weekend, I gave a talk to deacons in Cincinnati about the “7 Habits of Highly Successful Preachers,” and I’m happy to see two of them spotlighted here: prayer and preparation. From The Catholic Register:  “I really am encouraging priests, deacons, liturgical preachers to take time,” said Fr. Joseph Mele, author ofThe Sacred Conversation: The Art [Read More...]

“We are all pearls”: a deacon’s homily for this Sunday

A deacon friend sent me his homily for today. It’s extraordinary and, I think, deserves a wider audience. I post it here with his permission. I hope it will resonate with many.  ++ My good friend, Father Hilarion has a saying that goes like this… Everyone who comes into your life is a blessing. Some [Read More...]

The diakonia of Mary Magdalene

My friend and brother deacon John Gerke, from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, preached the Mass at NDICE this morning, the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. The congregation was full of deacons and their wives.  I had a plane to catch and missed the Mass — but John sent me his text. It’s too good not [Read More...]

After four decades, Rochester eliminates lay preaching at Mass

I’m frankly surprised that this has been going on for so long. Details:  For the better part of 40 years in churches across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, clergy ceded the floor to laypeople for the delivery of the homily — the sermon that follows the reading of the Gospel at Mass. The practice, [Read More...]

“Don’t say these things at my funeral…”

With a grateful diaconal bow to my brother Deacon Scott Dodge, I offer these very sensible thoughts, which come from Lutheran blogger Chad Bird:  There will come a day, perhaps sooner, perhaps later, when the man in the coffin will be me. They say the dead don’t care, but I’m not dead yet, so as [Read More...]

“God was not done with Gerald Robinson, the priest who could no longer minister”

A deacon friend sent this my way: it’s the text of the funeral homily for Fr. Gerald Robinson, the Ohio priest who was convicted in the 1980 killing of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. The homily–extraordinary by any measure–was preached by Fr. Thomas Extejt and is reprinted here with his permission.  +++ First, I would like to offer [Read More...]

Meet some stars of Christian preaching you won’t see on television

From The New York Times:  Quick: Name a famous American preacher. Chances are you came up with an television evangelist. The names come easily: Billy Graham, Robert H. Schuller and Oral Roberts; Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker; Joel Osteen and T. D. Jakes. Since World War II, American preaching has been synonymous [Read More...]

“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc”

Incredibly, this Friday marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Which means this marks the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s remarkable speech commemorating that event. Written by Peggy Noonan—using the skills she honed writing at CBS News Radio—it still stands the test of time. Radio writers like to talk about how their medium occupies [Read More...]

Homily on the suicide of a priest: “Our God is merciful, loving, compassionate and forgiving”

You probably remember this story about the priest from Florida who took his own life. Below, the homily delivered at the priest’s funeral on Monday by Bishop Robert Lynch. There are three things that are for certain in every human life: birth, death and taxes. While we ourselves are responsible for the third, our taxes, our staunchly pro-life teaching [Read More...]

The ambo as an open tomb

A fascinating interpretation, via Bill Ditewig, from an interview with Bishop Tena Garriga, renowned expert on liturgical theology: The retired bishop stressed the role of preaching as critical to the ministry of the deacon. He referred first to the ancient liturgies, often in the catacombs, in which the episkopos would celebrate Mass over the bones of the martyrs. [Read More...]


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