“The best preacher I ever had…”

He’s described by Pat Archbold:  As I thought about it, I kept coming back to one particular priest that week in and week out offered good solid preaching.  I realized that he was the best preacher I ever had.  So what about his preaching made it so good?  Well, no one particular thing.  I have [Read More...]

On the homily: “God’s voice coming through you”

From the Virginian-Pilot, photographer The’N. Pham has produced this brief glimpse at the world of Fr. Dan Beeman, who discusses his homily preparation:  “You get them for 10 or 15 minutes during the homily,” Father Dan notes. “If you use it for your own agenda, or you recycle what you heard, or you take something [Read More...]

RIP Bill Graham, drama professor and teacher of preachers

From the Washington Post: William H. Graham, an acting director and teacher who led the drama department of Catholic University, directed and acted in plays at the Olney Theatre, and gave lessons to clergymen on preaching and politicians on public speaking, died Oct. 15 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. He was 87. [Read More...]

Should you use an iPad in church?

Priests have been known to use them for celebrating Mass and for preaching. But the debate about whether it’s appropriate to use iPads in church goes on. Protestant ministers are weighing in:  The tablet may undermine the spatio-temporal nature of church. When a member stands before the congregation, reading the sermon text from a tablet, there is [Read More...]

How long should homilies be?

We talked about this a little at the Redemptorists’ conference in New Jersey this week. Fr. Edward McNamara has more, from ZENIT:  Unfortunately there is relatively little with respect to official norms regarding length of homilies. This is partly inevitable because expectations vary from one culture to another and even from one social milieu to [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...]

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...]