“Abortion snatches the knitting out of God’s hand…”

From the huge Mass celebrated Monday at the Verizon Center as part of the March for Life, here’s Msgr. Charles Pope, from the Archdiocese of Washington (and blogger extraordinaire), delivering a terrific homily before a crowd of 18,000 young people. [Read more...]

Martin Luther King Jr.: “Love your enemies…love has redemptive power”

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and [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...]

Speaking of speaking …

While browsing the interwebs this morning, I stumbled on this bit of advice for public speakers in Forbes.  I think it has some timely applications for those who speak from the ambo. In a nutshell, it offers five important tips: Meet the audience where they are Make a heartfelt human connection Show respect for the [Read More...]

When the preacher can’t preach

What can you do about bad preaching? I wondered about that recently, after hearing from two different priests, from two different corners of the country, who expressed frustration at deacons whose homilies in their estimation just aren’t up to snuff. “It was dismal,” one pastor wrote about his deacon’s homily.  “He preached, as always, far [Read More...]

Cardinal’s advice: spice up your homilies

Tired of dull sermons?  So is a high-ranking official at the Vatican. Details: Roman Catholic priests have been told to inject ‘scandal’ into their sermons by a senior official from the Vatican. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said priests needed to liven up their often ‘dull’ sermons with the scandalous parts from the Bible. Cardinal Ravasi, the [Read More...]

“People go where they find something that appeals to them”

Having recently posted an item on what’s wrong with American parishes, I thought I’d post a story about someone who is doing something right.  A paper in Erie profiles a priest who is helping to rejuvenate a parish, and part of his effort includes preaching: Monsignor Henry Kriegel spent a decade in California parishes where [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...]

What did you hear?

Borrowing a page from Amy Welborn, I’m curious to hear what your experience was like at yesterday’s Mass.  The anniversary was emotional and packed with a lot of complicated feelings.  And the scriptures, as any preacher will tell you, were especially challenging. Someone in my office, who lives in a parish that lost several first [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...]