Ten Commandments for Transformative Preaching

When people walk into church for Mass, they are searching for meaning. Psychologist William Damen, in his book, The Path to Purpose, tells us we are living through a crisis of meaning. Our superficial culture of consumption and … [Read more...]

Words Written on Ice and Wind

At the turn of the century, I graduated from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.  Armed with an MFA in creative writing, I set out to write the Great American Novel. I taught writing at the University of Central Florida in … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Preaching

Articles on preaching typically emphasize advance preparation. The most crucial advance preparation occurs in seminary, or even pre-seminary, in the systematic reading of Scripture. Long years and discipline in Lectio Divina are the … [Read more...]

Winter Reading for February 2015

Masters of Preaching: More Poignant and Powerful Homilists in Church History, Vol. 2. Ray E. Atwood (Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books/University of America Press, 2014) xiv + 469 pages. (Reviewed by Fr. David Vincent Meconi, … [Read more...]

Lest They Receive It in Vain

Right lay preparation and interior disposition is necessary to effectively and fruitfully receive the grace of the sacraments, including and especially, the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. The Vatican II Constitution on Sacred … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

What concerns should a priest have in the weekly homily? “New Evangelization:” What does it mean, and what are its primary focuses?   Question: What concerns should a priest have in the weekly homily? Answer: Priests know that the … [Read more...]

The Renewal of Preaching in the Liturgical Homily for the New Evangelization

My purpose here is not to detail the content of a good homily, but to delineate the focus and attitudes of heart and mind of the homilist himself. Outstanding Dominican preachers: Blessed Jordan of Saxony, St. Dominic, St. Vincent … [Read more...]

Should homilies offer systematic instruction?

...there has been, in my view, a serious neglect of instruction of the faithful in the fundamentals of the Catholic faith in a systematic way in most of our parishes. Recently a priest friend asked me, “How can we teach the faith during … [Read more...]

Doctrinal Homily Outlines for the Year of Faith

...the Scriptures are not a systematic presentation of the faith. Nevertheless, the doctrines of the faith are contained in Sacred Scripture, so the Lectionary readings can be the basis for preaching about doctrine.    Pope Benedict XVI … [Read more...]

Questions Answered: On Confession during Mass, and homilies given by non-ordained person

Confession during Mass Question:  I have heard there is a new document the Holy See has issued on confession, and that that document states that confessions may be heard during Mass.  I thought this was not approved. Answer: On … [Read more...]