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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The importance of preaching

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the former head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told a meeting of the world's bishops that Catholics increasingly expect better homilies from priests at Sunday Mass.

"Ritual precision alone will not bring back those who do not attend Sunday Mass," he said.

Several bishops attending the Oct. 2-23 Synod of Bishops have expressed concern about the quality of homilies, with many saying the sermons need to be better focused on the theology of the Catholic faith...

"We bishops in our role as the primary preachers in our local churches must lead by our own good example rather than merely asking our priests and deacons to be better prepared homilists," he added. [source]

As long as the longest contact that many people have with their priest is the Sunday Mass, the homily will be of great importance in the presentation of the faith. Unfortunately, sometimes priests confuse quantity of words with quality of words.

I think that priests should take some lessons from the teaching profession in terms of the best methods of presenting their ideas and perhaps some acting lessons to better develop a good public speaking style.

It can be difficult to prepare a homily in the midst of all other responsibilities - especially for a daily Mass, but if the priest doesn't care enough about the Word than the people won't be motivated either.


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