Listening to the People of God

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This page contains documents that are relevant to Roman Catholic preaching and, in some cases, to lay preaching.  Each listing will download a pdf version of the document.  Some files may be large and require some time to load.  You can download by selecting the “Save as…” option.  Download the free Adobe Reader here.

sacroimageConstitution on the Sacred Liturgy:  The key liturgical document from the Second Vatican Council.  Arguably the single most important statement in the document is “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Peter 2:9; cf. 2:4–5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.” (SC 14)

popefrancisJoy of the Gospel:  The exhortation on evangelization by Pope Francis.  It contains important material on preaching, especially in Chapter Three “The Proclamation of the Gospel.”  Here is an excerpt:  “The Holy Spirit also enriches the entire evangelizing Church with different charisms. These gifts are meant to renew and build up the Church.  They are not an inheritance, safely secured and entrusted to a small group for safekeeping; rather they are gifts of the Spirit integrated into the body of the Church, drawn to the centre which is Christ and then channelled into an evangelizing impulse.” (EG 130)


barbaramooreLay Preaching: An Outsider in an Inside Place. What is the “Authority” of the Lay Preacher?  This is the body text of the thesis submitted by Sr. Barbara A. Moore as part of her Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.  The footnotes and supporting material can also be viewed in two pdf documents.  BAM Thesis Final Footnotes etc. Part 1 and BAM Thesis Final Footnotes etc. Part 2.  “This thesis addresses the “authority” of the lay preacher within the Roman Catholic tradition and specifically within a 24 year period (1980-2004), how that authority unfolded within the Diocese of Rochester, New York….This thesis will help lay preachers understand the complex positive and negative reactions to their preaching, and demonstrate a developing and changing understanding of authority within the Roman Catholic Church.  In many cases, this development has resulted in the gradual accpetance of qualified lay preachers.” (From the Abstract, p. ii)

Getting the Word Out: Lay Preaching in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana  This is a summary of a 2002 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.  It concludes that lay preachers, pastoral ministers, and parishioners all affirm the value of lay preaching.

Lay Preaching and Canon Law By Patricia Hughes Baumer, M.Div.  This comprehensive 2002 review was originally published by Partners in Preaching and posted on its web site.  Unfortunately the organization no longer exists and the site is no longer available.

The Need for Lay Preaching By Patricia Hughes Baumer, M.Div.  This is from Empowering a New Voice: A Lay Preaching Training/Formation Manual, Partners in Preaching  1999.  See reference to Partners in Preaching above.

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