America Media recently interviewed Dr. Karla Bellinger, the Executive Director of the Institute for Homiletics to appear on an episode of “PREACH: The Catholic Homilies Podcast”. Her podcast episode can be listened to here and an article on that conversation can be found online here.
“Effective preaching is like good butter sinking into warm toast,” says Karla Bellinger. “You’ve gotta give the Holy Spirit a little bit of time to do some work.” As the founding executive director of the Institute for Homiletics at the University of Dallas and president of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics, Karla is filled with bits of wisdom like this for homilists.
“The God of the universe who is infinite also wants to be the God who is intimate and close,” Karla says in her homily for the Second Sunday of Lent. “God wants to dazzle us.” In many ways, this is the mission of the homilist: helping people in the pews draw closer to God and prompting a dazzling encounter. Karla would know; as a lay woman and homiletician, she coaches and trains preachers—mostly ordained Catholic men—to give effective homilies. Preaching is a “pastoral act,” she says. Through every homily, “you want your people to come closer to God.”
Listen to Karla’s homily on this week’s episode of “Preach.” After delivering her homily, Karla explores with host Ricardo da Silva, S.J., some of the quick- and long-term fixes preachers can make to improve their homilies such that people in the pews can really hear what the preacher—and God—has to say.