In my last post, I wrote a little about the importance of good communication. Being a priest is all about communication. If a priest is not a good communicator, the effectiveness of his ministry suffers. When your priest gets up on the pulpit and speaks, what he’s doing is communicating. How effective he is as a communicator affects how much spiritual nourishment we, his congregation, receive.
Too often, we have heard complaints about our priest’s homilies. At the parish I used to attend, I was spiritually malnourished until I eventually left the parish for another more nourishing one. Now I am more well fed and happier.
There are many types of homilies as there are many types of priests. The question is: is your priest an artist, a copier, or a communicator?
An artist is one who focuses on self-expression. If your priest is an artist, he just wants to express himself and his opinions. He doesn’t care whether you get the message or not and, most of the time, his audience doesn’t learn much or fail to grasp what he is trying to say.
A copier is one who doesn’t do original work. If your priest is a copier, he gets his homilies from somewhere else and passes it off as his own. It could take the form of wholesale copying such as using another preacher’s homily, or it could take the form of repeating information he found in a book or article somewhere.
A communicator is one who focuses on the recipient. If your priest is a communicator, he is interested in you and does all he can to effectively transmit his message to you. This kind of priest is most interested in improving his homilies and is often open to constructive criticism.
At the suggestion of a priest, I have created an informal survey on the effectiveness of our priests’ communication skills during their homilies. Please take a few moments to respond to this short survey:
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