Benedict at the beginning and at the end: a plea for unity

It’s interesting to revisit Benedict’s first homily at pope, delivered eight years ago, and place it beside his last homily, delivered on Ash Wednesday. From the Mass for the Inauguration of the Petrine Ministry, Sunday April 24, 2005:  The task of the shepherd, the task of the fisher of men, can often seem wearisome. But [Read More...]

Want to bring vitality to your homilies?

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has some pointers.  He  delivered the annual Carl Peter Lecture on Preaching on January 13 at the Pontifical North American College, the U.S. bishops’ seminary in Rome.  Some highlights from CNS:  In learning to preach, seminarians should look to the homilies of the fathers of the church, where they will [Read More...]

Yes, it’s still Christmas

The lights are still ablaze in Princeton, New Jersey, where I stepped into St. Paul’s Church Thursday night and encountered the glorious scene above. The church was just lovely. Thanks to Msgr. Joseph Rosie, Deacon Jim Knipper and the wonderful folks at St. Paul’s for their hospitality and warm welcome in support of “Hungry and You [Read More...]

Try this in the pulpit. Let me know what happens.

From the review of new books about St. Francis of Assisi: “Why you?” a man asked Francesco di Bernardone, known to us now as St. Francis of Assisi. Francis (1181/2-1226) was scrawny and plain-looking. He wore a filthy tunic, with a piece of rope as a belt, and no shoes. While preaching, he often would [Read More...]

“Hungry” gets a little buzz

A few weeks back, I posted on the collection of homilies to which I contributed, “Hungry and You Fed Me.”  Now, The Times of Trenton has written about it, plugging an upcoming book signing (I’ll be there, so if you’re in New Jersey, come on by and say hello!): Fifteen homilists of various Christian denominations [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...]

Secrets the preacher can’t share from the pulpit

From Connecticut comes this candid bit of spleen-venting from a Protestant pastor:  Eleven in the evening is well past my bedtime, which is to confess that I don’t have a particularly glamorous social life. A single man in late middle-age on a tight budget, I try to limit my trips to Monte Carlo to once-a-month [Read More...]

“Come, then, let us observe the Feast”: the first known Christmas sermon

It comes to us from the great St. John Chrysostom, from 386.  (Source).  Stuck for something to say on Christmas?   Try this on for size: BEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn.  The Angels sing.  The Archangels blend [Read More...]

Do microphones muffle good preaching?

Writer Leroy Huizenga thinks so.  From First Things: I think microphones might very well injure preaching, for in preaching the microphone functions as both obstacle and crutch. The microphone is an obstacle, one more piece of complexity that can go wrong. It makes preachers tentative; the microphone is like a snake that might bite if [Read More...]

The Catholic Church’s push to make better preachers

From Religion News Service: As Drew Burkemper got up to preach, the weight of his task was evident. His classmate at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, Adam Maus, had just pretty much killed it. Like Burkemper, Maus and other Catholic seminarians were told to prepare and deliver to his class a homily for an imaginary event. Maus’ scenario [Read More...]


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