Want to be a better homilist? Loyola University offers online preaching course

You may remember that they offered this course last year.  Deborah Wilhelm contacted me over the holidays to let me know she’s offering another chance to hone your skills from home, starting later this month. Interested?  Details: Description Preaching improvement entails practice–and expert and peer response to that practice.  Alternating instruction, conversation, practice and feedback, [Read More...]

“The best preacher I ever had…”

He’s described by Pat Archbold:  As I thought about it, I kept coming back to one particular priest that week in and week out offered good solid preaching.  I realized that he was the best preacher I ever had.  So what about his preaching made it so good?  Well, no one particular thing.  I have [Read More...]

What do you preach to a church full of Jews on Christmas?

Photo: by Daniel Estrin This is pretty intriguing.  Who knew? Details:  On Christmas Eve, thousands of Christians from around the world flocked to Bethlehem to celebrate at the traditional birthplace of Jesus. But a few miles up the road at a church in Jerusalem, something unexpected took place at Midnight Mass: the church became crowded [Read More...]

“The scandal of preaching”

From today’s homily:  Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican this Friday morning, focusing his remarks on the attitude of some Christians who seem to be “allergic” to preachers and overly critical of those who proclaim the Gospel, suggesting that they are often afraid of letting [Read More...]

“What does faith have to do with doing the dishes?”

That’s just one of the questions in this uplifting interview by Kathryn Lopez with Fr. Scott Hurd, who talks about his terrific new book “When Faith Feels Fragile.”  Snip: KJL: Why do you encourage receiving the Eucharist when faith feels fragile? Shouldn’t you wait until you make sure you believe? Fr. Hurd: The Eucharist is not a [Read More...]

When was the last time you heard a homily like THIS?

And for children, no less. I can only imagine the nightmares this induced. From Pat McNamara comes this piece from the time capsule: an Advent sermon from 1900. Snip:  The day will surely come when there will be an end to all the wickedness that exists in the world, and no more insults will be [Read More...]

On the homily: “God’s voice coming through you”

From the Virginian-Pilot, photographer The’N. Pham has produced this brief glimpse at the world of Fr. Dan Beeman, who discusses his homily preparation:  “You get them for 10 or 15 minutes during the homily,” Father Dan notes. “If you use it for your own agenda, or you recycle what you heard, or you take something [Read More...]

Archbishop: Boring sermons are “unfair to God, unfair to the people”

When was the last time you heard an archbishop discuss preaching this way:  Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas has urged Catholic priests to always prepare and think carefully about the content of their homilies, saying delivering “boring” sermons is unjust to God and the churchgoers. “It is unfair to God. It is unfair to the people. It [Read More...]

The son of a deacon, on preaching

And he happens to be a priest, Fr. Mark Knestout, of the Archdiocese of Washington. Actually, he’s part of a family that holds a unique place in American church history: the only family (so far as anyone knows) that has produced men in all three levels of Holy Orders.  His father, Thomas Knestout, was a [Read More...]

RIP Bill Graham, drama professor and teacher of preachers

From the Washington Post: William H. Graham, an acting director and teacher who led the drama department of Catholic University, directed and acted in plays at the Olney Theatre, and gave lessons to clergymen on preaching and politicians on public speaking, died Oct. 15 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. He was 87. [Read More...]