Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Want better homilies? ‘Preach’ is the podcast for you.


Want better homilies? ‘Preach’ is the podcast for you.

Greg Chisholm, S.J., gestures while giving a homilyGregory C. Chisholm, S.J., gestures as he delivers his homily during the annual Black History Month Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York Feb. 5, 2012. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

The best advice Greg Chisholm, S.J., received about preaching a homily was not taught in the seminary. “I was helped as a young priest by a woman in a church that I served in Detroit, Michigan,” he said. “She came to me and she said, ‘When I go to church, I want to hear about Jesus, and you didn’t have a lot about Jesus in that sermon.’ I have never forgotten that.”

Greg Chisholm, S.J., the superior of the Jesuit community in Maryland and a former pastor of St. Charles Borromeo in Harlem, is the premiere preacher on “Preach,” our new podcast where we take you into the minds and hearts of some of the finest preachers in the Catholic Church today.

The show is hosted by 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.

“On this show, you won’t only hear and learn from Jesuits about preaching,” says Ricardo. “I will talk with lay liturgical preachers, women and men who ordinarily exercise a preaching ministry in their respective communities. I’ll talk with deacons, priests, bishops and maybe even a cardinal or two.”

“Preach” will usually be released on Mondays. But we simply could not pass on the significance of launching a podcast about preaching on Pentecost Sunday—when the church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples in the upper room—which the Scriptures tell us “enabled them to proclaim” God’s word to all nations.

Pope Francis on Pentecost: Synod is journey in the Spirit, not ‘a parliament’


Pope Francis delivers his homily during his Pentecost Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 28, 2023.Pope Francis delivers his homily during his Pentecost Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 28, 2023. Pope Francis called on Catholics to invoke daily the Spirit who gives "harmony to the world" and "directs the course of time and renews the face of the earth." (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church's current Synod of Bishops should not be a "parliament for demanding rights," but a "journey in accordance with the Spirit," Pope Francis said.

The synod, which seeks to gather input from all baptized Catholics on building a listening church, is not "an occasion for following wherever the wind is blowing, but the opportunity to submit to the breath of the Spirit," he said.

In his homily for Pentecost Mass in St. Peter's Basilica May 28, the pope said that the Holy Spirit is "the heart of synodality and the driving force of evangelization."

In his homily for Pentecost Mass in St. Peter's Basilica May 28, the pope said that the Holy Spirit is "the heart of synodality and the driving force of evangelization."

"Without him, the church is lifeless, faith is mere doctrine, morality only a duty" and "pastoral work mere toil," he said. "We often hear so many so-called thinkers and theologians who give us cold doctrines that seem mathematical because they lack the Spirit."

Pope Francis, seated to the side of the basilica's main altar, spoke without difficulty just two days after he had cleared his day's schedule due to a fever.

Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, was the main celebrant at the altar alongside Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Leonardo Sandri, vice dean.

Hitting Pause on Artificial Intelligence


A robot equipped with artificial intelligence is seen at the AI Xperience Center in Brussels Feb. 19, 2020 (OSV News photo/Yves Herman, Reuters).

In the United States, a country that came of age with the Industrial Revolution, progress and the advance of technology have been so closely associated that many of us have trouble imagining one without the other. Nuclear weapons are perhaps the only American invention most of us really regret, and even those are regarded as historically inevitable and not without benefit as a deterrent to another world war. In any case, we are told (or tell ourselves), you can’t turn back the clock. Or stop it.

Now another, less obviously destructive invention threatens to disrupt our lives no less profoundly than the Bomb did. Artificial Intelligence (AI) appears to be on the brink of remaking our economy, our politics, and perhaps civilization as we know it. Its boosters predict that AI may soon be able to cure diseases such as cancer and mitigate, if not reverse, the effects of climate change. This, they explain, will be the first human invention capable of inventing things we could never invent for ourselves—things that promise to make our lives longer, easier, and more enjoyable. All we have to do is get out of its way.

Removal of 4 teachers at New Hampshire Catholic school pushes community into LGBTQ culture war


Monday, May 29, 2023

The ‘holy whodunits’ of G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie and Ralph McInerny


A picture of the actor Alece Guiness in a film adaptation of the Father Brown mysteries by G.K. ChestertonThe Father Brown stories show us the murder mystery in its most explicitly theological form. A 1954 film adaptation starred Alec Guinness (photo: Alamy)  

Father Brown was a great man of small stature. He could foil a criminal mastermind and then bring him to repentance before bringing him to justice. Hercule Poirot could engage murderers in genial conversation, full of empathy and without the slightest trace of fear. Roger Dowling confronted every kind of sin, degradation and personal disappointment without ever losing his faith or his compassion. He was a steadfast guide and counselor, especially to those in most need of God’s mercy.

None of these men have been canonized. Their causes will never be opened. That is because they are literary detectives, created by G. K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie and Ralph McInerny, respectively. Though we cannot look forward to conversing with them in heaven, we can learn much from these characters here below. In a unique way, they are all holy men. They are sleuths who look less on hair follicles and fingerprints, and more on the human heart. Their readers expect them to crack the case, and invariably they do. Along the way, though, they deliver more than a culprit. They also offer important insights about the destructive potential of sin and the healing power of truth.

For Chesterton, Christie and McInerny, a mystery story was the perfect device for showing how even dramatic sins spring from the fallen condition that all human beings share.

The war in Ukraine is a challenge for a Catholic ethic of nonviolence


Why Memorial Day civic gatherings are important for democracy


Why Memorial Day civic gatherings are important for democracy

ncr Michael Sean Winters

Sunday, May 28, 2023




Fr. Mike Najim looks back on his faith journey and the life-changing experiences that formed his faith.