Recount, anyone?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 08, 2004

In a weekend CWN poll, a bare majority of respondents reported that the preaching at their parish church is either "excellent' (27%) or "good" (24).

Less than one-fourth found the preaching "poor" (14) or "horrible" (9).

This conclusively proves that....

... a lot of CWN readers are parish priests. And they vote.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2004 9:24 AM ET USA

    In our parish, two of the priests give good sermons. The rector is not much of a talker but at least all three remain true to the Catholic faith. The best of the three is a Thomist, and I've been inspired by him to explore the prayers and theology of St. Thomas. The deacon also gives faithful sermons. Comparing our parish to some I have visited, we do not suffer inanities as much as some unfortunates.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2004 11:11 PM ET USA

    Here's a theological quandry for Diogenes. Us married Catholic converts who are on fire for the faith would love to have some influence within the Church, but shun the Diaconate because of the prospect of being subject to the, how shall we say?, less than inspiring Bishops' bench. Is there, anywhere, such a thing as a non-Diocesan Diaconate?

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Mar. 10, 2004 6:58 PM ET USA

    Diogenes is smarter than I am. (No news there.) I saw the results of the survey and didn't realize how it turned out as it did. (Naturally, I voted execrable---or whatever the lowest ranking was.) Parish-shopping doesn't work in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, I can tell you. Each one is worse than the other.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2004 10:39 AM ET USA

    Our deacon gives that homily most of the time. I think he gets them from Helen Steiner Rice. Next to the radical and gender feminists, the worst plague the Church faces is permanent deacons. At least in my diocese anyway. Somehow they have gotten the idea they are substitutes for priests. Most of the homilies I've heard are poor and the worst ones come from these plaguey deacons. God give us more priests.

  • Posted by: Margo - Mar. 09, 2004 10:17 PM ET USA

    My husband (a deacon) delivers a homily at all the masses one weekend a month. They are always faithful to Church teachings and related to the readings of that day. Sadly, I can't say that for the pastor's homilies.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 09, 2004 4:10 PM ET USA

    Diogenes is my hero. If half our priests had his sense of humor, the pole would have shown a majority "loving" their homilies. Just got back from Kenai Alaska. The parish priest used "humor" to blast the homosexual bishops and called for their removal. People listened. The Alaskans, at least, have had enough of this disgrace from our clergy.

  • Posted by: Gertrude - Mar. 09, 2004 11:21 AM ET USA

    Most people realize I think, that the execrable Seminary training in the US produces the quality of homilies we are subject to. But having been so trained, the priest continues in the same vein of Catechesis once in his own parish. Filling his mind and heart with the fluff that passes for reading material and homiletic helps (most predominantly by women). Pray for them! Many of them try to be good priests, but have a knee jerk Pavlovian reaction to anything that threatens their view of self.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 09, 2004 10:51 AM ET USA

    I believe that the priest's homilies are like the fruit of a tree: if the tree is good, the fruit is good. If the priest has a deep interior life, the congregation will be nourished. We had an elderly, frail priest here last year. His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was awe-inspiring. You could have heard a pin drop, as they say, during his Mass. Afterward, people knelt in prayer and the church was quiet. It became His Father's House again.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 09, 2004 2:54 AM ET USA

    Over these troubled years, I have become so skilled at not listening to homilies that I have to make a deliberate effort to listen even to an excellent one, should an excellent one come along. But that's not likely. As a virtually universal rule they range range from dull to atrocious (or did while I was still listening.)

  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Mar. 08, 2004 7:08 PM ET USA

    Wasn't it Bishop Sheen who mentioned he always spent an hour before the Blessed Sacrament before giving his speeches? EWTN gives great homilies! Maybe some Priests should listen in and take notes!!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 7:03 PM ET USA

    Fr. Chad Ripperger, FSSP, puts his sermons on the web, at Sensus Traditionis. Just do a search on that or on his name. Very meaty. He's working on the deadly sins right now.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 4:25 PM ET USA

    I didn't vote because I assist at a monastic conventual Mass, which doesn't have a homily, per se. Instead, the gentlemen present are invited to go on the Sunday procession with the monks (within the enclosure), and the ladies stay behind for a short allocution on the day's Scripture readings. These are usually excellent: brief, learned, and not one single joke.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 1:43 PM ET USA

    Really bad sermons, unlike a lot of other abuses, can't be blamed on VII. At least not all of them. I can remember, a long time ago, when the sermon at the largely Portugese parish I sometimes attended, was the signal for the men to step outside for a smoke. That was in pre-VII days. While we're at it, bad music wasn't invented in 1970 either. Just infuriatingly bad music.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 1:20 PM ET USA

    The benchmark for great homilies would be raised if the age old study of Rhetoric by the masters; Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine were reinstituted not just at Catholic Liberal Arts colleges but at seminaries generally. Cardinal Newman was Ciceronian in his prose structure with a preference for the concrete.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 12:20 PM ET USA

    ...or, a lot of CWN readers parish shop

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 10:42 AM ET USA

    If I could count the times in the last decade that I have heard an "excellent" homily, I could function with one hand. I do hear "good" homilies, but often most often not at my parish, but at a downtown church for weekday masses. As for "poor" homilies, they far exceed fifty percent. Sometimes, I even wonder if the priest has even read scripture and I am no expert by far. But if I can detect errors, what does that say for the course of seminary scriptural studies?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 10:02 AM ET USA

    Repeatedly, Diogenes. Repeatedly.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 9:18 AM ET USA

    Yesterday at Mass I listened while the effeminate priest maundered on about how "change happens and we have to deal with it," until he said, w/o explanation, that he "hasn't seen Mel Gibson's movie and doesn't plan to." I then plucked my copy of The Way from my pocket and meditated on some of its epigrams until the horror ended. I doubt Fr. whoever is one of your readers.