10 Places to find excellent homilies online (2024)

Say a prayer for the priest who gave the disappointing homily, and then check out these sites for something inspiring and edifying

“We know that the faithful attach great importance to [the homily], and that both they and their ordained ministers suffer because of homilies: the laity from having to listen to them and the clergy from having to preach them! It is sad that this is the case. The homily can actually be an intense and happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with God’s word, a constant source of renewal and growth.” – Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

I don’t envy priests.

Priests have tough jobs and often wear many hats. So, I try not to be too judgmental or annoyed when I hear bad homilies. But Pope Francis is right; sometimes the people in the pews really suffer from having to listen to mediocre homilies!

In my opinion, a priest does not have to be a good speaker or a scholar to give a good homily (although that can help). What he does need is a prayerful heart that is immersed in God’s Word and close to his people.

When I am disappointed in a homily, I try to shelve my irritation and focus on what is the real center of the Mass, the Eucharist. I also say a prayer for the priest who may be overworked, tired, or going through a tough time. But I also mentally make a note to look up something edifying about the reading of the day or to listen later to a homily online.

Here are some of the best online homily resources I have found:

  1. Father Peter Grover, Boston, MA: Father Peter is one of my all-time favorite homilists. His homilies are not too long or too short; they are simple, profound, prayerful, Scriptural, and applicable to daily life. Priests (and everyone else) should listen to his homilies and take notes.
  2. Bishop Robert Barron, Los Angeles, CA: I have listened to Bishop Barron’s homilies for several years now and he never fails to deliver insights into Scripture that are at once surprising and immediately applicable to one’s life.
  3. Father Mike Schmitz, Duluth, MN: You might already know Father Mike Schmitz from

    . But he is also the chaplain for Newman Catholic Campus Ministries at the University of Minnesota Duluth and they archive his homilies online.
  4. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, New York, NY: I will never forget the homily I heard Cardinal Dolan give in St. Louis at a thanksgiving Mass after he was named cardinal. It was humorous, profound, full of joy, warm, and moving. Most of his homilies have these qualities; check them out.
  5. Father Matthew Gossett, Steubenville, OH: Father Matthew is a newly minted priest but his homilies demonstrate wisdom and prayerfulness beyond his years.
  6. Father Larry Richards, Erie, PA: Father Larry manages to give Sunday good homilies that are often under 10 minutes (!). His homilies are challenging, humorous, and get right to the point. They also are very Christ-centered. (In my opinion, it should be a rare homily that does not mention Jesus.)
  7. Archbishop Charles Chaput, Philadelphia, PA: Archbishop Chaput doesn’t shy away from controversial subjects and he often expertly ties together the readings from the Old and New Testament in detail before applying them to our lives.
  8. Msgr. Charles Pope, Washington DC: Msgr. Pope’s homilies are very much like his blog posts: profound, challenging, hard hitting, and insightful.
  9. Father Robert Spitzer, SJ: Father Spitzer is one of the few priests who posts some of his homilies from the daily Mass, which is brave of him and much appreciated. So if you are looking for a reflection about a daily Mass, look here first. (Father Steve Grunow also posts the text of many of his daily Mass homilies.)
  10. Dr. Scott Hahn, Steubenville, OH: These podcasts are not homilies but in them Scott Hahn breaks open the Scripture readings for each Sunday, finds multiple layers of meaning in them, and then applies them to our lives, which is everything an excellent homily should do.

So, next time you hear a less than stellar homily, say a prayer for the priest and when you get home visit some of these sites!

Do you know of any other priests who post their homilies online?

10 Places to find excellent homilies online (2024)


What is the difference between a homily and a sermon? ›

In colloquial, non-religious, usage, homily often means a sermon concerning a practical matter, a moralizing lecture or admonition, or an inspirational saying or platitude, but sermon is the more appropriate word in these cases.

Are all Catholic homilies the same? ›

On any given Sunday, around the world, all Catholics are hearing read the same readings at Mass. Though the homilies they hear are undoubtedly different, the sources of those homilies are the same – the Lectionary readings and the prayers of the liturgy.

What is an example of a good homily? ›

“Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that You would cover us, our families, and all of our possessions with Your love and the power of Your Most Precious Blood. Bind and drive out from among us any spirits who are opposed to Your Kingdom. Soften our hearts and heal our wounds so that we may receive Your Word today.

Do daily masses have homilies? ›

On days other than Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, the homily, though not obligatory, is recommended.

Which comes first homily or Gospel? ›

Apart from Lent, that acclamation is "Alleluia," derived from a Hebrew phrase meaning "Praise the Lord!" A deacon (or, if no deacon is present, a priest) reads the Gospel. After the Scripture readings, the celebrant preaches the homily.

Can a priest skip the homily? ›

Replacing or omitting the homily.

No priest can substitute announcements, financial reports, or pleas in place of the homily, nor add such things to it.

What do Catholics call sermons? ›

Prior to Vatican II, the commonly used word was "sermon." These days, the Church uses the word "homily." This may be the reason why some people believe that the word is interchangeable. It is generally agreed by the people that a homily is a commentary that follows the reading of Scriptures, especially at Holy Mass.

Why do Catholics call it a homily? ›

Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more — all for only $19.99... The word homily is derived from the Greek word homilia (from homilein), which means to have communion or hold intercourse with a person.

How many minutes should a homily be? ›

In an interview, Pope Francis expressed his belief that homilies should be 8 to 10 minutes.

How do you thank a priest for a good homily? ›

Thank you for homilies that remind me that the Mass is about the Eucharist, not the works of man. Thank you for consecrating the Eucharist so reverently that it moves me to tears. Thank you for the intensity of your worship and the love in your eyes when you look at your people and when you look at your God.

How long is a typical homily? ›

Francis encouraged priests to keep their homilies to "no more than eight to 10 minutes" and always include in them "a thought, a feeling and an image," so that "the people may bring something home with them." Homilies are "sacramentals" to be "prepared in prayer" and "with an apostolic spirit," he said.

How many masses can a Catholic priest say daily? ›

1216) prescribed that a simple priest should say but one Mass daily, except on Christmas, when he might offer the Holy Sacrifice three times; while Pope Honorius III (d. 1227) extended this legislation to all dignitaries. This then is the discipline of both the Eastern and Western Churches.

What Bible does Catholic Mass use? ›

The New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE) is a Bible translation approved for use by the Catholic Church, receiving the imprimatur of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1991.

Do we sit during the homily? ›

We sit in the Liturgy of the Word when we listen to the First Reading, Psalm, and Second Reading and during the homily.

Does homily mean sermon? ›

1. : a usually short sermon. a priest delivering his homily. 2. : a lecture or discourse on or of a moral theme.

What is the purpose of a homily? ›

The homily serves as our moment of reflection, instruction, exhortation, and consolation. A good homily will use Scripture as a framework for understanding our relationship with God; for teaching us about how to grow in His grace; for encouraging us to hold fast to the faith; and for offering us comfort when we fail.

Is there a difference between a sermon and a message? ›

In Evangelical Christianity, the sermon is often called the "message". It occupies an important place in worship service, half the time, about 45 to 60 minutes.


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