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...]

I Thought That Name Sounded Familiar…

The other day, I posted the remarkable story of Rev. Thomas Vander Woude, and his passionate plea on Facebook to save an unborn child with Down syndrome. It turns out that one of Fr. Vander Woude’s brothers was born with Down syndrome.   That brother nearly died in a horrible accident a few years back. [Read More...]

Priests and Deacons: Try This in the Pulpit Sunday and Let Me Know What Happens

This is a minister by the name of Jim Standridge preaching at Immanuel Baptist Church in  Skiatook, OK. Details:  During the sermon, preacher Jim Standridge, 76, of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Okla., begins by calling out a congregant for falling asleep. Shortly afterward, he singles out another man nearby, asking him, “Where have you been?” and following [Read More...]

The first homily of Pope Francis

Complete text, via the Vatican News site: In these three readings I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act [Read More...]

Bishops as modern magi: from Pope Benedict’s homily for Epiphany

From the Holy See’s website today: Following a tradition begun by Pope John Paul II, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord also as the day when episcopal ordination will be conferred on four priests who will now cooperate in different ways in the ministry of the Pope for the unity of [Read More...]

“All people have a right to know Jesus Christ and his Gospel…”

From the Holy Father’s homily today, marking the close of the Synod on the New Evangelization: The new evangelization applies to the whole of the Church’s life. It applies, in the first instance, to the ordinary pastoral ministry that must be more animated by the fire of the Spirit, so as to inflame the hearts [Read More...]

“This does not seem right to me”: when a priest uses someone else’s homily

I received the following e-mail this morning: Dear Deacon Greg: Today during Mass our pastor read your homily for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, with hardly a word changed and without acknowledging that someone else had written it. This is at least the third time this has happened, and it appears to me that [Read More...]

My Pentecost: tongues of flame, and the heat of a minor crucible

So, how was your Pentecost?  Here’s a window into the world of a deacon — or at least, this particular deacon. Last Sunday, my pastor and I agreed that he would preach the “high” Mass on Pentecost, since at that Mass he was going to be doing the confirmations for about a dozen adults.  (My [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...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X