Bishop accused of inciting hatred with homily

Given the state of the Church in Ireland these days, I have to wonder how this will turn out.  Details: A homily delivered at Knock shrine by the Bishop of Raphoe, Philip Boyce, is being investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions following a formal complaint by a leading humanist who claims the sermon was [Read More...]

Analysis: Obama’s SOTU written at 8th grade level, pope’s homilies at 11th grade

The other day, Elizabeth Scalia asked “Is great oratory over and done?” She made a compelling case that, yes, the era of truly eloquent speechifying is a thing of the past: I think what is missing from our current crop of gushers and gasbags is the ability to find poetry in their texts, or even [Read More...]

“Abortion snatches the knitting out of God’s hand…”

From the huge Mass celebrated Monday at the Verizon Center as part of the March for Life, here’s Msgr. Charles Pope, from the Archdiocese of Washington (and blogger extraordinaire), delivering a terrific homily before a crowd of 18,000 young people. [Read more...]

A seminarian on preaching: “The first thing I do is pray…”

Catholic San Francisco has been following the pastoral year of seminarian Tony Vallecillo as he moves closer to ordination in 2014.  The latest installment in the series looks at the experience he is gaining preaching: The self-described perfectionist spent 10 hours reading, researching, ruminating and rehearsing to deliver the seven-minute “reflection,” the equivalent of the [Read More...]

Martin Luther King Jr.: “Love your enemies…love has redemptive power”

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and [Read More...]

A New Year’s Day message: what some preachers are planning to say

Stuck for a homily idea?  Check out this interesting overview, from a variety of faiths in Indiana, here: Pastors will have similar new Yyear themes in their Sunday sermons. A fresh start, personal reflection and improving one’s relationship with God are just a few sermon topics. The Rev. James Foster, pastor, will preach about “a [Read More...]

Speaking of speaking …

While browsing the interwebs this morning, I stumbled on this bit of advice for public speakers in Forbes.  I think it has some timely applications for those who speak from the ambo. In a nutshell, it offers five important tips: Meet the audience where they are Make a heartfelt human connection Show respect for the [Read More...]

When the preacher can’t preach

What can you do about bad preaching? I wondered about that recently, after hearing from two different priests, from two different corners of the country, who expressed frustration at deacons whose homilies in their estimation just aren’t up to snuff. “It was dismal,” one pastor wrote about his deacon’s homily.  “He preached, as always, far [Read More...]

Cardinal’s advice: spice up your homilies

Tired of dull sermons?  So is a high-ranking official at the Vatican. Details: Roman Catholic priests have been told to inject ‘scandal’ into their sermons by a senior official from the Vatican. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said priests needed to liven up their often ‘dull’ sermons with the scandalous parts from the Bible. Cardinal Ravasi, the [Read More...]

“People go where they find something that appeals to them”

Having recently posted an item on what’s wrong with American parishes, I thought I’d post a story about someone who is doing something right.  A paper in Erie profiles a priest who is helping to rejuvenate a parish, and part of his effort includes preaching: Monsignor Henry Kriegel spent a decade in California parishes where [Read More...]