The problem of instant canonizations at Catholic funerals

This is a common problem in the preaching at Catholic funerals, and something every priest and deacon should be wary of. This writer nails it: Laura’s funeral Mass was beautiful—that is, up until the homily. It was then that things took a turn for the weird. After speaking a few words about God’s love, the [Read More...]

Calling All Preachers!

The following email arrived this afternoon: I’m writing with an item that might be of interest for The Deacon’s Bench. The Loyola Institute for Ministry (Loyola New Orleans) is offering an entirely online preaching course, Sharing the Word, this fall from September 9 through November 18, and available for CEU or graduate credit . The class is open [Read More...]

Priests and Deacons: Try This in the Pulpit Sunday and Let Me Know What Happens

This is a minister by the name of Jim Standridge preaching at Immanuel Baptist Church in  Skiatook, OK. Details:  During the sermon, preacher Jim Standridge, 76, of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Okla., begins by calling out a congregant for falling asleep. Shortly afterward, he singles out another man nearby, asking him, “Where have you been?” and following [Read More...]

“This does not seem right to me”: when a priest uses someone else’s homily

I received the following e-mail this morning: Dear Deacon Greg: Today during Mass our pastor read your homily for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, with hardly a word changed and without acknowledging that someone else had written it. This is at least the third time this has happened, and it appears to me that [Read More...]

My Pentecost: tongues of flame, and the heat of a minor crucible

So, how was your Pentecost?  Here’s a window into the world of a deacon — or at least, this particular deacon. Last Sunday, my pastor and I agreed that he would preach the “high” Mass on Pentecost, since at that Mass he was going to be doing the confirmations for about a dozen adults.  (My [Read More...]

Preaching to children

Thursday night, I got a call from a classmate and  friend, the DRE in my parish, Deacon Bill, explaining that his mother-in-law had died after a long illness.  As a result, he would not be attending or preaching at the special mass for third graders in our parish Sunday.  He asked: Could I fill in [Read More...]

The preachin' deacon

Continuing his thoughtful and informational series on the deacon as “Minister of the Word,” Deacon Bill Ditewig has now turned his attention to preaching: With regard to the deacon preaching at Mass, the GIRM notes that the deacon preaches “on occasion”.  The norm is for the priest-presiding to preach, but he may also ask the [Read More...]


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