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...]

Preaching to children

Thursday night, I got a call from a classmate and  friend, the DRE in my parish, Deacon Bill, explaining that his mother-in-law had died after a long illness.  As a result, he would not be attending or preaching at the special mass for third graders in our parish Sunday.  He asked: Could I fill in [Read More...]

Remembering 9/11: Homily at the Funeral Mass of Fr. Mychal Judge

From Fr. Michael Duffy, OFM, delivered on 15 September 2001.  A snip: You know when you step back and see how my friend Mychal died, I’m sure that when we finish grieving, when all this is over and we can put things in perspective, look how that man died. He was right where the action [Read More...]


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