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Voices
Preach: The Catholic Homilies Podcast,” hosted by Ricardo da Silva, S.J., helps Christian preachers develop their craft and captivate their congregations in more effective ways.
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A surefire way to lose your congregation is to start a homily with “In today’s Gospel reading,” says Thomas Groome. “The purpose of good preaching,” he says, “is to bring our lives to God and God to our lives.” A homilist’s job, then, is to facilitate a meaningful conversation between the two.
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Though Jesus preached in parables that still captivate us, not every story told in a homily has a similarly lasting impact. The Rev. Christopher Clohessy shares how preachers can craft stories that linger long after Mass is over.
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Ron Hansen has written award-winning novels that have been turned into Hollywood hits. As an ordained deacon, he crafts equally compelling homilies.
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While most parishes struggle to attract young members, Saint Clement Parish in Chicago stands out with a mostly young adult congregation. Father Peter Wojcik’s preaching style could explain some of its success.
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Listen to Gemma’s homily for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B, in which she explains how her experience of poverty in Brazil gave radical significance to Christ’s words: “Make your home in me as I make mine in you.”
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On this week's episode of "Preach," Bishop Stowe shares how he connects the image of the Good Shepherd from the Gospels to the climate crisis.
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Good preaching requires mastery of rhetoric, particularly the tools of repetition and organization, says John Baldovin, S.J. But also, he adds with hyperbolic emphasis, “you have to read, read, read, read, read and pray, pray, pray, pray, pray.”
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“The idea of a preacher who sings as a part of their homily is part of many African American cultural traditions,” explains Kim Harris. “The songs carry so many of our stories, hopes, and beliefs, and what we’re thinking about and believing and preaching about.”
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Ed Foley, O.F.M. Cap., discusses how, when preparing one of his homilies, he meticulously annotates his manuscript, like a conductor’s score. “Where’s the crescendo? Where’s the pause? When do the trumpets come in?”
Jesuit Father Andriy Zelinskyy, coordinator of military chaplains for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, is pictured in a 2018 photo.
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When reflecting on the life, death and resurrection of the Lord while living in a state of military invasion and active war, “everything becomes more authentic,” and “God ceases to be just a concept,” says Andriy Zelinskyy, S.J. “He really becomes a source of life and all hope for you and for those who are around you.”