Questions Answered

Question: Does a homily mean something other than a sermon? Online dictionaries seem to show them to be interchangeable. I have for years now believed homilies to be based on Scripture, and sermons might cover a range of topics, not … [Read more...]

What Lessons Do Thomas Aquinas’s Sermons Hold For Modern Preachers?

Son: “All the men who were ordained with me seemed to think that the faculty of preaching will come to them as a matter of course.” Father: “Then I pity their congregations.” —Canon Twells, Colloquies on Preaching It is strange to … [Read more...]

Springtime Reading

  Proofs of God: Classical Arguments from Tertullian to Barth by Matthew Levering. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016. Reviewed by Matthew K. Minerd, Ph.L. Speaking from Within: Biblical Approaches for Effective … [Read more...]

From Benedict to Francis

On the fifteenth of June in 1917, Pope Benedict XV issued the encyclical, Humani Generis Redemptionem, “On Preaching the Word of God.” This is the most recent papal document which was devoted specifically to preaching, at least at the level … [Read more...]

Like a Tree Planted by Rivers of Water

With issues that arise in any given culture for the Church, the theologian cannot separate the tradition of dogmatic teaching from pastoral mission. The first Psalm calls the man, who takes his delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on … [Read more...]

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...]

Fall Reading for October 2015

Rebuilding Your Message: Practical Tools to Strengthen Your Preaching and Teaching. Michael White and Tom Corcoran. (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, Rebuilt Parish Book, 2015) 224 pages; $15.00. (Reviewed by Jon M. Ericson) Family and … [Read more...]

Preaching the Homily and the New Evangelization

Preaching in all its forms is indispensable to the Church’s mission given to her by Jesus Christ: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching … [Read more...]

Summer Reading for June 2015

Our Father, Who Art on Earth: The Lord’s Prayer for Believers and Unbelievers. Jose Tolentino Mendonca, with a Foreword by Enzo Bianchi. (Mahwah, New Jersey/New York: Paulist Press, 2012) 114 pages; $14.95. (Reviewed by Brandon … [Read more...]

The Homiletic Directory

In response to a request made by the 2008 Synod of Bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recently published the Homiletic Directory. The Directory was commissioned to assist homilists in their … [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...]

Rediscovering Preaching within the Liturgy of the Hours

For most Catholics in the United States, the terms “homily,” “sermon,” and “preaching” nearly exclusively evoke the occasion of a priest or deacon preaching as part of Mass.[1. The use of the specific terms, “homily,” “sermon,” and … [Read more...]

Preaching, Music, and Acoustics

The work of the New Evangelization is identical to the work of evangelization in every age: to communicate to those who are unaware of the saving work of the Son of God those things that will bring them to accept the gift of faith, and come … [Read more...]