Words Written on Ice and Wind

Detail, fresco of St. John Chrysostum, artist unknown (13th  Century), Church of the Theotokos Peribleptos, Ohrid, Macedonia.

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

Fr. McGavin artwork 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

Winter reading for FEB 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

Vermuelen photos 2-7-15

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,” … [Read more...]

Preaching, Music, and Acoustics

Cunningham photos 2-9-15

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...]

Laying the Foundation for Forming Disciples in Our Parishes

Albright photos 1-23-15

A recent mailing of the Franciscan University of Steubenville declares, “The age of casual Catholicism is over. The age of heroic Catholicism has begun.”[1. Fr. Terrence Henry, TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville. ] Men and women … [Read more...]

Saved from a Deacon’s Nightmare

Detail from Jesus Rejected in the Synagogue, by James Tissot (1894).

A Nightmare Not long ago, I experienced a deacon’s nightmare. I was serving the 7:30 AM Mass on Sunday morning, and just as the lector stood up to do the first reading, the presider turned to me and said, “You are preaching this … [Read more...]

Preaching IN and TO a Post-Modern World

Genig article collage

Indeed, preaching must be improved.  However, before preaching can be improved, one must first be aware of the cultural context in which one lives today. Jesus asked by chief priests by what authority he preaches - By Tissot Over the … [Read more...]

Change and permanence

Church faithfulness collage

The Catholic Church has always seemed to me to be like the solid Rock of Gibralter — stable and permanent.   St. Peter, the Rock, and the Roman Catholic Church share the stability of the Rock of Gibraltar Even though we live in a … [Read more...]

Helping to Heal the Pain in the Pew: The Preachers Role

preaching after the scandal collage

This sex abuse scandal is, perhaps, the first time our listeners in the pews truly understand the pervasiveness of sin. ... The preacher speaks of its toll on our hearts, while ...reminding us that grace is more … [Read more...]

Preaching to the Whole Person: Classical Wisdom for the New Evangelization

St Augusting preaching before Bishop Valerius of Hippo collage

St. Augustine, the Church’s foremost teacher in the classical art of Christian preaching, master rhetorician, and former teacher of oratory, was convinced that the pagan rhetorical tradition, so important to the ancient cultures of Greece … [Read more...]

Enter the Digital Continent of Preaching

Catholic media collage 2

Our preachers must lead people to align themselves with the Church, filling the chasm of the past two or more generations of those not in touch with this treasury of truth. The goal is eternal salvation, the growth of the Church is in the … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds