Vatican: homilies should not be improvised entertainment

From The Catholic Herald:  Archbishop Arthur Roche has said that homilies preached in Mass must not be improvised and used as a form of entertainment. The Archbishop’s comments came as he presented new directives for the Church on the preaching of the homily in Mass today at the Vatican. Archbishop Roche, the former Bishop of [Read More...]

“This is the mission of the Church: to heal the wounded hearts, to open doors, to say that God is good…”

Highlights of the pope’s homily today, from Vatican Radio: The Church must proclaim the Gospel “in poverty” and the people proclaiming it must have the sole aim of alleviating the miseries of the poor, never forgetting that this service is the work of the Holy Spirit and not of human hands. At Mass on Thursday [Read More...]

How not to preach

That’s the provocative—and very accurate—title of an essay in the current issue of America magazine by John J. Conley, S.J. Good advice, through and through, concluding with: Permit me to offer two positive counsels to preachers. First, fall in love with God’s word in Scripture. Let the great hymn of creation, fall and redemption become [Read More...]

Fr. Rutler: “Diaconal preaching is essentially non-liturgical” —UPDATED

A certain deacon, preaching “in the presence of priest,” on Gaudete Sunday. The noted priest offers some thoughts on preaching in Aleteia:  Preaching will be inadequate if it is an afterthought or incidental to the liturgy. It never occurred to the Fathers of the Church that preaching was anything other than the chief duty, Primum Officium, [Read More...]

“For we are walking on holy ground”: a great short video on preaching

Fr. James Martin posted this on his Facebook page, and it deserves a wider audience. Here, Fr. George Witt, pastor of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City, offers his approach to homiletics. Take a look. Good, good stuff! [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...]

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...]

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...]

The problem of instant canonizations at Catholic funerals

This is a common problem in the preaching at Catholic funerals, and something every priest and deacon should be wary of. This writer nails it: Laura’s funeral Mass was beautiful—that is, up until the homily. It was then that things took a turn for the weird. After speaking a few words about God’s love, the [Read More...]

Calling All Preachers!

The following email arrived this afternoon: I’m writing with an item that might be of interest for The Deacon’s Bench. The Loyola Institute for Ministry (Loyola New Orleans) is offering an entirely online preaching course, Sharing the Word, this fall from September 9 through November 18, and available for CEU or graduate credit . The class is open [Read More...]