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October 11, 2005



This is an important point for Christians of all traditions.

The message should be something that you are challenged by (in a good way) that leads you deeper into the heart of Christ, and propels you into transformation of your own life style.

Some sermons or homilies (in all denominations)could simply be taken out of the service and it would not matter because it failed to do any of these three things - Each of those is a wasted opportunity to bring the people and God's ways closer together.

The RC church -like other churches - also needs inspiring preaching as an integral part of the mass /s. I know that during the week the homily is skipped and that on Sundays it's often, as you yourself write, irrelevent or boring which is a real pity.

I think part of it may be that priests simply have too much to do and preaching the sermon is not considered their most important task. Maybe that needs to be reviewed? My experience in the methodist church is that not much training is given in homelectics - and almost all of it is at the seminary stage.

Are RC priests offered training in this area when they are already a priest, and when they have been one for many years? Or is it just assumed they can do it? That's the rub really.

interesting post thanks :)

Steve Bogner

I know that Catholic seminarians take classes in homiletics, but maybe some of them don't see it as a very critical part of their vocation. There was a bishop recently - in Detroit, maybe? - who started a program to improve his priests' homilies, and I remember hearing that it was well received. I don't know about ongoing training though. I do know that if I don't continuously hone my professional skills that I'll lose ground quickly.

At my parish we have four Jesuits who rotate in & out of the Sunday line-up, and while they have different styles they all consistently have good homilies.


Steve and Lorna, thanks for your comments. I don't know why this happens. I'd say that in the business world not all leaders are good at speaking. When I was in the Air Force I did find more officers who would be good speakers. Maybe because leadership was emphasized more.

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