August 22, 2016
The nine men in our deacon formation program spent the week of August 7-13 at St. Meinrad School of Theology and Seminary in southern Indiana deepening their knowledge of homiletics and honing their preaching skills. During this week, we reviewed such topics as exegesis for preaching, liturgical preaching, preaching at the rites and on feast days, delivery skills, ethics in preaching, and avoiding unintentional anti-Judaism in preaching. The candidates also prepared four homilies: they came with a Sunday homily prepared following Eugene Lowrey’s structure (Lowrey’s Loop) and were videotaped preaching it; we then reviewed the videotapes to provide them feedback. They also prepared and preached a homily using David Buttrick’s homiletic method, a “hit-and-run” homily (they were given a text and only 30 minutes to prepare), and a funeral homily.
Of course, one of the great aspects of being at St. Meinrad is being able to share in the prayer of the monks: daily Mass and the liturgy of the hours in the archabbey church. This retreat-like atmosphere enhances the learning and is a big part of deepening the bonds of friendship and camaraderie among the candidates.