“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...]

A deacon who preached his wife’s words

Bob Keeler in Long Island’s Newsday writes about an unusual deacon-and-wife combo: There is the average ghostwriter, and then there is Patty Buchenberger. Call her the Holy Ghost Writer. For two decades, from her husband Tom’s 1981 ordination as a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church until vocal cord cancer put an end to his [Read More...]

Here it is: final draft of bishops’ document on preaching

H/T to my blogging comrade and neighbor Fr. Michael Duffy for finding this. Read it all here.  [Read more...]

“Hungry and You Fed Me”: homilists for the homeless

Looking for preaching ideas for next year?  Look no further. I’m honored and humbled to be a part of this new book,  “Hungry and You Fed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C,” which collects sermons from a wide range of sources and puts them between covers for the first time, with sales going to [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...]

“Preachers should be aware of what their people are watching on television…”

Details, from CNS via the Catholic Review:  “My dad used to say, ‘I know what happened 2,000 years ago. I need to know how to live my life today.’” These words, from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, get to the heart of a new proposed document on preaching to be considered by the [Read More...]

“The homilist should strive to live a life of holiness…

A topic of which there is no shortage of opinions — preaching — will be getting more attention next month at the bishops’ meeting in Baltimore. From the USCCB:  The U.S. bishops will vote on a formal document on preaching at their annual fall meeting, November 12-15, in Baltimore. The document, “Preaching the Mystery of [Read More...]

The preachin’ deacon

A lot of regular visitors to The Bench probably know Deacon Doctor Bill Ditewig (“Triple D”), who makes frequent appearances here and in the comboxes.  One of his parishioners alerted me to the very impressive website for his parish, which includes its own YouTube page and an archive of homilies, including several by Bill. If [Read More...]


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