Preach: The Catholic Homilies Podcast

America Media

What makes a great Catholic homily, and what goes into the art of delivering it well?  “Preach” is a new weekly podcast from America Media that features a diverse cast of the finest Catholic preachers. Each week, preachers open up their hearts and minds, sharing their spiritual lives, approaches to interpreting scripture and techniques for preparing the best homilies.  On each episode, listeners will meet Catholic preachers, learn about their communities and hear their Sunday homilies, delivered with a podcast audience in mind. In the second part of the show, preachers will unpack the making of their homily with the show’s host, Ricardo da Silva, S.J., to offer a privileged peek into their lives as ministers of God’s Word, to enable all preachers to keep preaching the Good News. Read the homilies featured on the podcast and get daily Scripture reflections from America Media by becoming a subscriber: www.americamagazine.org/subscribe “Preach” is made possible through a generous grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc, as a contribution to its Compelling Preaching Initiative, funding the development of preachers across the United States. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality
At funerals, preach for the living, not the dead
20-11-2023
At funerals, preach for the living, not the dead
This November, as we remember our beloved dead and our liturgy begins to contemplate the end times, the stark reality of war is even more pronounced. In times, like these, “sometimes, the best thing you can do,” says Bruce Botha, S.J., “is acknowledge someone else’s pain and say, ‘I can’t imagine how you’re feeling.’” Father Botha, a priest of the Southern Africa province of the Jesuits, has been in parish ministry for the last 15 years. He serves as the pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church and chaplain for two universities in Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously, he worked at St. Martin de Porres, a Jesuit-run parish in Soweto, “a historic township,“ he says, which was “the epicenter of a lot of the anti-apartheid struggle.” The parish is a stone’s throw from the world-famous Vilakazi Street, which he reminds, has “the homes of two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in it: Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.” On “Preach” this week, host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., engages Bruce on the challenges of preaching in fearful, uncertain times of COVID and war, and at intimate moments of personal grief, like funerals. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Preachers: The elders also need homilies that speak to them
30-10-2023
Preachers: The elders also need homilies that speak to them
Preachers face a delicate balancing act: while crafting homilies to draw young people to the pews, they must also engage the elders, who make up the majority of the congregation. The also deserve homilies that resonate with the particular joys and challenges of their lives. “I try to read the scriptures through their eyes,” says Jack Rathschmidt, an 80-year-old Capuchin friar. “Older people have this wisdom and these gifts, and so I just try to honor them.” Jack has been a friar for 62 years and a priest for 54 years. He has preached in more than 60 dioceses and led over 100 retreats across the U.S. and the world. Despite holding four master’s degrees and a doctorate in theology, he hopes that his legacy extends beyond his academic achievements. “I come from a very lower middle class background; my father never made $100 a week until 1968,” he says. “I hope people catch from me, the essence of St. Francis; I am an everyday person who has been called to a particular vocation and role. I tried to live simply, I tried to identify, especially with the poor.”  Listen to Jack’s homily for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After the homily, Jack shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., how he keeps the fire for preaching alive. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The power of vulnerability when preaching in a retreat or parish setting
23-10-2023
The power of vulnerability when preaching in a retreat or parish setting
As an undergrad at Boston College, Sarah Hansman was a self-described “retreat addict.” Today, she is a retreat leader in Boston College’s Kairos program and is often invited to preach in various settings. “When it comes to preaching, and when it comes to sharing my voice, one of my goals is to be a role model for those who either don’t feel like their voices are heard or don’t feel like their voices are worthy to be heard,” Sarah says, when asked about her vocation as a preacher. “Every time I’m offered to reflect in any setting, I say, ‘Yes!” Sarah returned to her alma mater after a successful four-year career in tech sales and years of discernment during which she made the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola in daily life. Sarah is currently working towards an M.Div. degree at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry. In addition to her academic pursuits, she leads retreats, serves weekly in a men’s prison and embraces every preaching opportunity that comes her way. In this “Preach” episode, Sarah Hansman delivers a homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, and shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., how her corporate experience prepared her to take risks and practice vulnerability in preaching. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Pope Francis calls Catholics to support the global church. Our preaching should reflect that.
16-10-2023
Pope Francis calls Catholics to support the global church. Our preaching should reflect that.
Until the early 20th century, the Catholic Church in the United States was “still young, growing and vulnerable,” and “the recipient of help from the church in other lands,” recalls Anthony Andreassi, C.O., in his homily for World Mission Sunday. “Now it is our turn to reach out to support others so that this important work of evangelization can continue as we continue to make our pilgrim way here on earth.” Anthony is a resident priest of the Brooklyn Oratory and serves its two parishes, but he has spent most of his professional life in Jesuit company—his last four years, until the summer of 2022, as the principal of Regis High School in New York City. Now, he works for the Pontifical Mission Societies and The Society for the Propagation of the Faith in its mission to raise consciousness of the emerging church, especially in the countries of the global south. Listen to Anthony’s homily for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, on this week’s episode of “Preach,” which also coincides with the appeal for World Mission Sunday observed in parishes worldwide. After delivering his homily, Anthony discusses with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., how the Church’s evangelization reaches beyond missionary lands. It is also an invitation for all the faithful to walk together as pilgrims on a common course, echoing the ongoing invitation of the Synod on Synodality. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Center the experiences of marginalized people when preaching
09-10-2023
Center the experiences of marginalized people when preaching
Before the Rev. James Martin, S.J., set off for the Synod on Synodality currently underway at the Vatican, he shared some of his hopes for preaching the message of the Synod. “This idea of Jesus calling people from the outside in is very much something that the synod is doing,” he said. “I think it’s reminding people that these groups, whoever it is—refugees, migrants, the poor, disabled, divorced or remarried Catholics, women that might be disenchanted with the church, L.G.B.T.Q people—that these are part of the body of Christ. And that these are people in whom the Holy Spirit is also active and alive.” Jim is a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large at America, and the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers. His latest book, “Come Forth,” just released by Harper One, explores the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. This month he is taking part in the ongoing Synod on Synodality in Rome; we’re thrilled to welcome him on “Preach” as we focus on “Preaching for a more synodal church.”  Listen to Jim’s homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After the break, Jim and host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., engage in a conversation about the synod, Jim’s new book, and his go-to homily resources. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How synodal listening transformed this preacher's homilies and faith community
02-10-2023
How synodal listening transformed this preacher's homilies and faith community
Brett Williams tries to connect his homilies from week to week. “Our discipleship isn’t limited to Sunday to Sunday,” he says; it needs to be seen “within the context of our ongoing journey.” He cautions that this path may include moments when “it seems dark, and there doesn’t seem to be any progress,” as well as times when it’s “fantastic, easy, wonderful to be a disciple of Jesus.” He believes that “when we create either a series or a linkage between Sundays, people start to see this journey more clearly.” Brett serves as the pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Durban, South Africa, and previously chaired the synod committee for the Archdiocese of Durban. He openly acknowledges that his ordination at the age of 35 made him a “late vocation.” Prior to entering the seminary, he pursued a career as a college lecturer and served as an international cricket umpire for two decades. Listen to Brett’s homily for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After the homily, he shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., a Jesuit priest from South Africa, associate editor at America, and associate pastor at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan, how the practice of synodal listening, really listening to each other, has shaped his preaching. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The art of a short homily
25-09-2023
The art of a short homily
Synodality is not always an easy thing to describe. But for Iván Montelongo, “It is so concrete. It means walking together, but it means accompaniment. It means being there for somebody else, just as the Lord himself has decided to walk with us, has become a man and lived our same life with our struggles, with our issues.” Iván Montelongo is a priest and canon lawyer serving in the Diocese of El Paso, Texas. Ivan was raised in Mexico but completed high school in the U.S. Though he was ordained in 2020, in the throes of Covid-19, he has already been called to significant responsibilities in his diocese: serving as vocation director, Judicial Vicar, and Synod coordinator. He is also one of only six U.S. delegates personally chosen by Pope Francis to participate in the upcoming Synod on Synodality in Rome this October. We’re delighted to have Ivan on “Preach” this month, where we are focusing our efforts around the theme of “Preaching for a more synodal church.” Listen to Iván's homily for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After the homily, he shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J.—a Jesuit priest from South Africa, associate editor at America and associate pastor at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan—how he brings the spirit of synodality to his preaching.  Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Preaching lessons from Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman
18-09-2023
Preaching lessons from Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman
“I had the great privilege of never having a man formally teach me preaching,” boasts Manuel Williams about his training for the priesthood. One of his teachers was Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, F.S.P.A.; the other was Joan Delaplane, an Adrian Dominican sister and the first Catholic woman president of the American Academy of Homiletics. “What both of these great women stressed,” he said, “is you have the privilege each and every Sunday of standing before the people of God. And they would make it personal. They’d say, ‘We don’t get that privilege easily. We have to look for venues or for opportunities.’ And so never step into that preaching moment unprepared.’” Manuel is a member of the Congregation of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He has been pastor of Resurrection Catholic Church in Montgomery, Ala., for 33 years. Throughout this time he has also served as director of Resurrection Catholic Missions of the South, Inc. He preaches revivals and missions throughout the U.S., with a focus on African American Catholic spirituality and history. In 2021, he co-taught a course on “Anti-Racism Preaching” at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, where he is currently pursuing doctoral studies in preaching. Listen to Manuel’s homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, on this week’s episode of “Preach.” In conversation after the homily, with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., Manuel unpacks how he makes oft-heard parables relevant and how he invites his congregation into full participation in the Gospel story. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Preaching is more than the homily
11-09-2023
Preaching is more than the homily
Preachers and those in ministry confront a common dilemma: “We never live up to what we want to be,” says Patricia Bruno, O.P. “However, I think the preaching helps direct our own lives,” she adds. “It’s hard to say something in public that you don’t really believe.” Patricia Bruno, is a Dominican sister of San Rafael in California. She is an experienced teacher and has served her congregation as both promoter of justice and preaching. She directs retreats at which she preaches often with fellow Dominican Jude Siciliano, whom we just heard on the last episode of Preach. She also serves as a spiritual director and writer. If she had a braid going down the back of her neck, she says that “one strand would be justice, the second spirituality, and the third would be the love that hopefully bonds them together.”  Listen to Patricia’s homily for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After the homily, she shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., her conviction that preaching is only one instrument in the greater symphony of the Mass.  Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The three stories every homily should tell
28-08-2023
The three stories every homily should tell
When Jude Siciliano, OP, sits down to write his homily, he always has a Venn diagram in mind. “It is one of the theories of preaching that there should be three stories,” Jude says, “The story of God, the story of the preacher, and the story of the listeners, the congregation.” And it is in the overlap of these three stories that Jude preaches. Jude Siciliano, OP, is a member of the Southern Dominican Province, USA. For fourteen years he taught Homiletics at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and is past president of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics. Jude has has given retreats and preaching workshops to ordained and lay preachers alongside Sr. Catherine Hilkert, OP, and Sr. Patricia Bruno, OP. You can read Jude’s weekly email reflections on the Sunday scriptures called "First Impressions" by visiting PreacherExchange.com. Listen to Jude's homily for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After the homily, he shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J.—a Jesuit priest from South Africa, associate editor at America and associate pastor at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan—his top tips for preaching and what women preachers have taught him about the craft.  Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings.  Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Can I be political in my preaching?
31-07-2023
Can I be political in my preaching?
“What's happening today in American society is the label of Christian is being applied to forces that are really deeply unchristian and certainly within the Catholic community, are very much in violation of our Catholic social teaching,” says Walter Modrys, S.J., reflecting on the challenge that preachers face today when their homilies touch on neuralgic political issues. “You don't have a right to label it Christian unless it really meets a very high standard that is reflective of the gospels.” Walter Modrys is a Jesuit priest of the U.S.A. East Province of the Jesuits. He describes his present state of life as retired but still holds down five jobs, including one as co-host of “believe. teach. practice,” a preaching podcast. Listen to Walter's homily for the Solemnity of the Feast of the Transfiguration, Year A, on this week's episode of “Preach.” After the homily, Walter shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., what drew him to make connections between the glorious feast of the Transfiguration and the unspeakable tragedy of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings.  Get daily scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Preaching the kingdom of God when justice is delayed on earth
10-07-2023
Preaching the kingdom of God when justice is delayed on earth
”We will never solve the crisis of preaching in the Catholic Church, unless we emphasize that the preacher needs to be someone who is constantly learning about the Scriptures and what they mean in their context, but also that the preacher needs to be a person of prayer.” says Bryan Massingale. “Someone who stands in the pulpit as an authentic faith witness who wrestles with who God is.”  Bryan is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and presently lives and works in New York City as a professor of theology at Fordham University. He is a leader in the quest for faith-based racial and sexual justice, especially within the Catholic Church, and regularly presides and preaches at the The Parish of St. Charles Borromeo Resurrection and All Saints, the mother church for Black Catholics in the Archdiocese of New York. This year is the 40th anniversary of his priestly ordination.  Listen to Bryan’s homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After the homily, he shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., a less-rehearsed reading of the well-known parable of the sower in the Gospel of Matthew. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine. “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Preaching tips from a Catholic priest, husband and father of five
26-06-2023
Preaching tips from a Catholic priest, husband and father of five
“I like what Pope Francis said in ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ when he talked about preaching and likened it to family conversation; I try and imagine that I’m at a coffee shop talking to someone and I just have a conversation with them,” Josh Whitfield says. “If I were to sit down with you and just talk about important stuff—share the Gospel with you—I would not lecture you. The homily is family talk.” Father Whitfield serves as the pastor of St. Rita Catholic Community in Dallas. A former Episcopal priest, he trained for ministry in England. After his conversion to Catholicism, he was ordained a Catholic priest in 2012, through the pastoral provision of Pope St. John Paul II. He now lives in Dallas with his wife and their five children. Father Whitfield is a regular contributor to the Dallas Morning News and Our Sunday Visitor and the author of The Crisis of Bad Preaching: Redeeming the Heart and Way of the Catholic Preacher (Ave Maria Press, 2019). Listen to Father Whitfield’s homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After the homily, he shares with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., how this husband and father of five brings his whole self to the pulpit. Read the full text of this week’s homily and Scripture readings Get daily Scripture reflections and support "Preach" by becoming a digital subscriber to America Magazine “Preach” is made possible through the generous support of the Compelling Preaching Initiative, a project of Lilly Endowment Inc. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices