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Preaching to a Multi-Generational Assembly

Preaching to a Multi-generational Assembly

Andrew Carl Wisdom, OP

With the acceleration of technological change, new and distinct generations are created faster than before. Generational boundaries become more fluid. Multiple age groups have different generational mindsets, distinct worldviews, and varied spiritual needs. How, then, do preachers speak to congregations that comprise four to five separate generations? Preaching to a Multi-generational Assembly addresses how to effectively and credibly preach to all generations at the same time. In Preaching to a Multi-generational Assembly Andrew Carl Wisdom offers a credible, new homiletic model to make Catholic preaching more exciting, accessible, and effective for both the assembly and preacher by making it more generationally relevant. He reflects upon the current state of preaching through Catholic and Protestant voices. He argues from communication theory that generation is a subculture like ethnicity and race and should be seriously considered in homiletic preparation. He applies contemporary marketing segmentation theory to preaching in proposing a qualified "generational segmentation" of the Sunday assembly. Finally, he combines both theories to demonstrate both the opportunity and viability of intergenerational preaching in a Catholic context. Chapters are “Why Effective Preaching Is a Priority: The Problem,” “The Genesis of the Catholic Homily,” “Intergenerational Preaching as a Sacred Dance Between Culture, Language, and Meaning,” “What the Preacher Can Learn from the Marketer,” “The Catholic Sacramental Imagination: A Generational Bridge,” “Does It Work? The Mechanics of Intergenerational Preaching,” and “So What.” Includes tables, graphs, and a conclusion with practical suggestions on how to become an effective and credible intergenerational preacher. Andrew Carl Wisdom, OP, DMin, is a preacher and promoter of vocations for the Dominicans, Province of St. Albert the Great. Besides extensive campus ministry involvement, Fr. Wisdom has given retreats to parishes, diocesan clergy, and religious novices. The sixth eldest in a family of thirteen, Father Wisdom has first hand experience of intergenerational dynamics, crediting his passion for preaching to his upbringing.

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Preaching in the Sunday Assembly

A Pastoral Commentary on Fulfilled in Your Hearing

Edited by James A. Wallace, CSsR

What should preachers aim for in Sunday preaching? In 1982, the USCCB document Fulfilled in Your Hearing: The Homily in the Sunday Assembly answered this question. Here, in a pastoral commentary on Fulfilled in Your Hearing, several Catholic scholars in homiletics, liturgy, and biblical studies both appreciate the abiding insights of Fulfilled in Your Hearing and also propose areas for continuing reflection. Following the four sections of the Bishops' document—The Assembly, The Preacher, The Homily, and Homiletic Method—this commentary emphasizes the document’s continuing importance for the initial and ongoing formation of Catholic liturgical preachers, while also inviting conversation about present-day cross-cultural, liturgical, and communication concerns for Catholic preaching. Priests, deacons, seminarians, bishops, and all others engaged in the preaching task are invited to deepen their appreciation of the homily's unique role in the liturgical life of the church and to stir their enthusiasm for preaching and preaching preparation. James A. Wallace, CSsR, is professor of homiletics at Washington Theological Union, Washington DC. He is author of Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart: The Homily on the Feasts and within the Rites and The Ministry of Lectors (Liturgical Press), and coauthor of Lift Up Your Hearts, Homilies for the A, B, and C Cycles (Paulist Press).

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Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart

The Homily on the Feasts and Within the Rites

James A. Wallace, CSsR

Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart is about words, most particularly it is a book about the Word, the living Word of God, found in the Scriptures, and embodied once and for all in the person of Jesus, the Word made flesh. In Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart Fr. James Wallace offers a nuanced consideration of the homily as nourishment. He focuses on three common liturgical contexts: feasts of the Lord, feasts of Mary and the saints, and the sacramental rites. He relates the preaching that occurs within each area to one of the heart's basic hungers: for wholeness (the great feasts of the Lord), for guidance (feasts of Mary and the saints), and for meaning (various rites). He also addresses the spirituality of the preacher as it is worked out in the process of preparation. For preachers and students in schools of ministry who are preparing to preach Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart will serve as a useful tool to help satisfy the hunger to preach the Gospel. It includes homilies that provide excellent starting points for preachers looking for ideas. Chapter one considers the image of feeding God's people with the Word of God. Chapter two, considering the innermost hunger of the human person, looks to the preaching that takes place on the great feasts of the Lord and how such preaching can nourish the hunger for wholeness. Chapter three returns to the hunger for meaning already mentioned and extends to the other sacramental celebrations the homily's capacity to meet this hunger, including those addressed by the various sacramental celebrations of the Church such as baptisms, wedding, funerals, rites of reconciliation, and anointing of the sick. Chapters four and five present the homily as responding to the hunger to belong. The final chapter considers one other hunger of the heart, unique to the preacher, referred to by John Paul II as a "hunger to preach the gospel" (Pastores Dabo Vobis, no. 28). Chapters are "Preaching's Task in a New Millennium: Feeding God's People," "Preaching the Feasts of the Lord and the Hunger for Wholeness," "Preaching Within the Sacramental Rites and the Hunger for Meaning," "Preaching Through the Saints and the Hunger for Belonging: I—The Saints," "Preaching Through the Saints and the Hunger for Belonging: II—Mary," and "Cultivating the Preacher's Hunger: 'To Make the Gospel Known and Loved.'" James A. Wallace, CSsR, PhD, is professor of homiletics at Washington Theological Union. His previous works include Preaching Through the Saints and The Ministry of Lectors published by The Liturgical Press. He has also authored numerous articles and has given preaching conferences and workshops in the U.S. and abroad.

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The Preaching of Pope Francis

Missionary Discipleship and the Ministry of the Word

Gregory Heille, OP

Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has encouraged, inspired, and delighted those who have heard him preach. Especially fascinating have been his plain-spoken and insightful weekday morning Mass homilies. He has also offered the church a substantial contribution on the theory and practice of homiletics in a large section of his first major teaching document, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). In The Preaching of Pope Francis, Gregory Heille, OP, introduces readers to the pope's preaching, his insights about the preaching vocation of the ordained, and his call to all the baptized to go to the margins as missionary disciples and evangelists of the Word. Heille, a highly regarded professor of homiletics and preacher himself, offers an inspiring and practical resource for priests, deacons, and anyone involved in the ministry of preaching. He shares the pope's vision and example for the preparation and delivery of effective and engaging homilies and for laity invested in the church's ministry of the Word in a post-Vatican II pastoral context. Gregory Heille, OP, professor of homiletics and academic dean at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, has spoken and given workshops on preaching in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, and Australia. He serves as promoter of preaching for the Dominican Central Province and has served as president of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics and president of the Academy of Homiletics.

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The Preaching of Pope Francis

Missionary Discipleship and the Ministry of the Word

Gregory Heille, OP

Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has encouraged, inspired, and delighted those who have heard him preach. Especially fascinating have been his plain-spoken and insightful weekday morning Mass homilies. He has also offered the church a substantial contribution on the theory and practice of homiletics in a large section of his first major teaching document, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). In The Preaching of Pope Francis, Gregory Heille, OP, introduces readers to the pope's preaching, his insights about the preaching vocation of the ordained, and his call to all the baptized to go to the margins as missionary disciples and evangelists of the Word. Heille, a highly regarded professor of homiletics and preacher himself, offers an inspiring and practical resource for priests, deacons, and anyone involved in the ministry of preaching. He shares the pope's vision and example for the preparation and delivery of effective and engaging homilies and for laity invested in the church's ministry of the Word in a post-Vatican II pastoral context. Gregory Heille, OP, professor of homiletics and academic dean at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, has spoken and given workshops on preaching in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, and Australia. He serves as promoter of preaching for the Dominican Central Province and has served as president of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics and president of the Academy of Homiletics.

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Written Text Becomes Living Word

The Vision and Practice of Sunday Preaching

Stephen Vincent DeLeers

Effective, significant preaching requires a vision and a pondering of the question, "How can I do what the Church expects of me?" The homily offers preachers a chance to live this question. Drawing from official Roman Catholic documents (1963–1995), Written Text Becomes Living Word summarizes this vision for the homily as having five characteristics: personal, liturgical, inculturating, clarifying, and actualizing. DeLeers integrates and develops homiletic practice into this vision by a detailed process for effective preparation and preaching. Written from the author's work with preachers, Written Text Becomes Living Word will help re-inspire the homiletic vision as well as the spiritual life of those preaching. Chapters are: “Repairing the ‘Accidents of History’: Roman Catholic Restoration and Embrace of the Sunday Homily,” “The Evolution of the ‘Restored’ Homily, 1963-93,” “A Roman Catholic Contribution to the Vision of Sunday Preaching,” “The Homily as Personal Word: Responsibility, Faith, and Love,” “The Homily as Liturgical Word: The Assembly and Its Sacred Ritual,” “The Homily as Inculturated Word: Correlating Experience and Tradition,” “The Homily as Clarifying Word: One Good Point, Clearly Made,” “The Homily as Actualizing Word: Written Text Becomes Living Word,” “Arriving at the Sunday Message: Three Necessary Encounters with the Word,” “From Message to Homily: Content, Structure, and Delivery,” “Ten Suggestions for Becoming a Better Preacher,” and an Appendix: Roman Catholic Documents on the Homily. Also includes an Index. Stephen Vincent DeLeers, DMin, is an author and consultant in homiletics. He has taught and lectured widely, and among his writings are those in The Bible Today, New Theology Review, and The Theology of Priesthood, all published by Liturgical Press. He maintains a presence on the web at www.betterpreaching.org.

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An Introduction to the Homily

Robert P. Waznak, SS

Robert Waznak, a preacher and for the past twenty-five years a popular teacher of preachers, believes that before we consider how to preach a homily we need to explore what the homily is. That is why An Introduction to the Homily is not just another "how to" book, but a work that leads to a practical understanding of what the Sunday homily is supposed to do. Based on theological and historical foundations, this work provides sound theory for homilists striving to improve their preaching. Chapter one explores the form of preaching called the homily both from historical and contemporary understandings. It fills a void in many Catholic homiletic texts and articles on preaching by offering a brief overview of the "New Homiletic," a new approach that recognizes other homiletic structures besides the deductive or Aristotelian. Chapter two presents an overview of the preacher from four major images within the Catholic homiletic tradition: the herald, the teacher, the interpreter, and the witness. Chapter three examines the origins of the Lectionary to help understand its place in the preaching event and explores some practical solutions to its problems. Chapter four provides helpful responses to questions concerning practical aspects of the homily. Hundreds of books on preaching have appeared since Vatican II, yet these homiletic texts rarely include the theological and liturgical insights from Catholic scholars and church documents. In An Introduction to the Homily, Robert Waznak demonstrates how new homiletic scholarship from Christian churches; the insights found in normative Church documents; contemporary theological, liturgical and biblical studies; plus the lived experiences of preachers and people can help us come to understand the function of the homily in the liturgical tradition of the Church. Chapters are "From Sermon to Homily," "The Preacher as Herald, Teacher, Interpreter, and Witness," "The Lectionary: Richer Fare or Lesser Choice?" and "Questions Often Asked About the Homily." Robert P. Waznak, SS, is Professor of Homiletics at the Washington Theological Union and co-editor of New Theology Review. He has published books in the areas of homiletics, preaching, and the media and is a presenter of preaching workshops for dioceses and religious communities in the United States.

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Making Good Preaching Better

A Step-by-Step Guide to Scripture-Based, People-Centered Preaching

Alvin C. Rueter

Making Good Preaching Better explores not the preaching of ethics but the ethics of preaching. Using sound theology and practical insights, this book shows that by putting themselves in the place of the people in the pews, preachers can improve their sermons and make good preaching better more consistently. Written with the practicing homilist in mind, Making Good Preaching Better helps motivate and sharpen the skills of those in preaching ministry. Laid out as a teaching tool for classroom use, it also makes the work of the homiletic professor easier. Reverend Rueter explains how the same qualities - visual, oral, cohesive - that make it possible for preachers to remember their sermons also make it possible for parishioners to remember these sermons. He also explores concepts not covered in other homiletics books, such as the legitimate appeal to self-interest as observed in Jesus, Paul, and Moses, how to deal with "hard," controversial topics, and tips for remembering homilies. Reverend Rueter bases his approach on the time-proven step-by-step pedagogy used in the first-century schools of rhetoric. He believes that requiring novices to prepare whole homilies for criticism presents too many possibilities for failure and thus discouragement. With its step-by-step homiletical exercises, Making Good Preaching Better gives students greater possibilities of the joy of success in putting together entire homilies—one step at a time. Making Good Preaching Better offers three-minute oral exercises to be performed before a video camera. Each exercise uses the theological/homiletical principles explained in that chapter and includes suggestions on how to conduct the video lab sessions without provoking dread but rather, by promoting affirmation. Fourteen homilies (by the author and others) are supplied for both professionals and novices to critique. To supplement the instruction, recommendations for additional readings are provided at the end of each chapter. Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy, seminarians, and those in Roman Catholic diaconate formation programs will benefit from this practical textbook. Reverend Rueter wrote this book asking several questions: "How does rhetoric agree with Christian theology?" "Why aren't homiletics books laid out as teaching tools?" and "Why don't we teach homilists the skills of rhetoric?" He answers with Making Good Preaching Better. Alvin C. Rueter, Ph.D., a Lutheran pastor, conducts preaching workshops and teaches homiletics in the Formation Program for Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He also teaches homiletics at the School of Theology, St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He also hosts and produces a weekly radio program, Sing for Joy, and for several years wrote a monthly column, "People-Centered Preaching," for Emphasis. He earned a Ph.D. in speech communication from the University of Minnesota.

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The Practical Preacher

Handy Hints for Hesitant Homilists

Paul Edwards, SJ

Taking the premise that a person can learn to be a competent preacher, Father Edwards offers a step-by-step guide to the technical and emotional factors of preaching. He begins with the preparation of material, focusing on the event, and physical aspects such as stance, projection, position, etc., He moves on to discuss more complicated matters, such as how to keep one's material fresh and how to adjust the same material for different audiences. Although written for the newly ordained, The Practical Preacher also belongs on the shelf of every "veteran" preacher. "In my view, [Father Edward's] book will be of enormous help to clergy who have been many years in the ministry and who need to reflect and renew in their own lives their ministry of preaching the word of God."—Rt. Rev. Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, England.

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Elements Of Homiletic

A Method for Preparing to Preach

O.C. Edwards, Jr.

This companion volume to Elements of Rite offers a methodical approach to the homily. It gives step-by-step instructions for preparing, constructing, and delivering a homily that not merely instructs but evangelizes.

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Price: $19.95

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