Next season’s judges on “American Idol”…?

Okay. Maybe not. From left to right: Gary Ziuraitis, CSsR, Director of Communications for the Redemptorist General Government; Rocco “Whispers in the Loggia” Palmo; Your Humble Blogger; Dave Dwyer, CSP, Executive Director of “Busted Halo” and co-host of “Conversation with Cardinal Dolan” on Sirius XM Radio. At the conference I’m attending in Long Branch, New [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...]

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...]

Pope Francis: “Don’t Be Afraid of Newness!”

From today’s homily:  In his Mass on Saturday morning at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said being Christian “does not mean doing things, but allowing oneself to be renewed by the Holy Spirit.” The Pope emphasised that even in the life of the Church there are “ancient structures” to be renewed without fear. “New [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...]

How Important is the Homily?

Here’s one writer who thinks its importance is being overestimated—and we have Vatican II to thank (or blame). Details:  So, how important is the homily at Holy Mass? It depends on who you ask. If you pose the very same question to a Catholic who is fortunate enough to regularly assist at the Traditional Latin Mass, [Read More...]

View from the Pew: What Makes a Good Sermon

This advice comes from Kathleen T. Choi who writes “In Little Ways” for The Hawaii Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Honolulu: Dear Father X, Every Sunday, as we walk out the door, we shake your hand and say, “Good sermon, Father.” We’re not lying. We’re usually fairly satisfied with what you have to say, [Read More...]

Think Mass Is Too Long? Pope Francis Has A Solution.

The answer is joy! From this morning’s homily:  The Holy Spirit is the “author” of Christian joy and to proclaim the Gospel we need to have joy in our hearts gifted us by the Spirit of God. There is a certain understanding of Christian life that is marked by sadness, but long faces cannot proclaim [Read More...]

Will We Ever Get Complete Texts of the Pope’s Daily Homilies?

Today, the Vatican seemed to indicate no. Here’s the statement from Fr. Federico Lombardi: The very great interest aroused by the Pope’s brief homilies in the course of the Masses celebrated every  morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, poses and continues to pose  often the question  from different parts  on the possibility [Read More...]


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