Gloria Ulterino has researched and written about the history of lay preaching in the Roman Catholic tradition. She has completed a series of three articles.
- History of Lay Preaching, Part One: What does scripture say? The first deals with lay preaching described in the scriptural record of the first century of the Church. The final sentence of this essay is a fitting summary of her findings. “In summary, then, Scripture affirms preaching by people of great faith, both women and men, who opened their hearts, souls and minds to the person of Jesus, the Christ. In every case, they simply could not keep the Good News to themselves.” Click here to open a PDF of History of Lay Preaching, Part One: What does scripture say? To download right click the link and select “Save target as” or “Save link as.”
- History of Lay Preaching, Part Two: The Beguines The second recounts the history of The Beguines, “a group of medieval women [appearing] from the 13th century onward…. Seemingly appearing out of nowhere in many towns dotting Western Europe, they devoted themselves to the apostolic way of life (vita apostolica) of the earliest Christians, by ministering in a whole host of ways to meet the needs of folks in their day. In the process, many of them were acknowledged as preachers.” Click here to open a PDF of History of Lay Preaching Part Two. To download right click the link and select “Save target as” or “Save link as.”
- History of Lay Preaching in the Diocese of Rochester: The third describes the experience and questions arising from lay preaching in the Diocese of Rochester from 1970 to the present. “With the mushrooming of lay ministry, we know and believe that the Spirit of God has been very busy calling people into the ministry of preaching, doling out the gifts required along with the courageous persistence to respond, so that this ministry might be fruitful. Indeed, we know and believe that lay preaching is one of those gifts, able to enliven the hearts and faith of many of God’s People. We know and believe that preaching of any kind is a sacred responsibility, which must always be approached with prayer, hard work, and the intention to make the best possible use of God-given gifts. While we are aware that each bishop has the ultimate authority in this area, we must—for the sake of the People of God—raise the question, yet one more time. Can lay preaching, indeed, happen during Mass? For that is the time when the whole community gathers.” Click here to open PDF of History of Lay Preaching in the Diocese of Rochester. To download right click the link and select “Save target as” or “Save link as.”