UCA News columnist Fr William Grimm offers some commentary on the preaching guidelines from the Mumbai archdiocese that netted a few comments here earlier this week. Fr Grimm offers a frank, one-word diagnosis: unprofessionalism.
A preacher must know the needs (note: needs, not wants) of the faith community served Fr Grimm asserts. Too many do not:
This is one of the most mystifying things about preachers. The number who seem to have no idea of the people before whom they stand is staggering. A congregation is not an abstraction, but real people with experiences, concerns and hopes. Poor preachers talk about their own needs, their own hang-ups, their own idea of what the congregation’s concerns should be or abstract gobbledygook.
How many preachers mine their own personal experiences for homily material? I can’t say I’ve really found that approach very edifying. On occasion, a good storyteller can draw in a group with an entertaining personal experience. Maybe I’m different from most Catholics. I don’t really want to hear a priest’s life story from the pulpit. Maybe over a dinner or a coffee or a beer.