When the words "great homily" come to mind, the name Fr Bill Bausch inevitably pops up. And, by his own admission, this is his "best homily book ever." Coming from a great homilist, that's saying something!
Almost all of these homilies are new, never before published, and all are original. In addition to homilies reflecting the liturgical year, there are special occasion homilies for holy days, holidays, and other celebrations. There are funeral homilies that offer unique ways a homilist can confront the mystery of death, and there is a section called "Twice Told Tales," homilies that have been previously published but are now out of print.
All are shaped and finessed with stories--and why not? The Bible itself is essentially a story book. As Bausch himself says, "We never exhaust the meaning of a good story. The reason is because stories deal in myth, symbol, and metaphor that resonate in the deeper fissures of our hearts. There is never a last word to a story. Truth wrapped in story is irresistible--and that's why I use stories."
These homilies are irresistible as well! This is a great resource for homilists, of course, but also for all those who want to ponder Scripture in deeper and fresher ways. It is--no question about it--Father Bill Bausch's best homily book ever.
William J. Bausch is a retired priest of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, who works at a local parish and continues to give lectures, retreats, and days and evenings of reflection. He is author of A World of Stories for Preachers and Teachers and Touching the Heart: Tales for the Human Journey, both available from Twenty-Third Publications.
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Rev. William J. Bausch is a parish priest of the diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. He is the award-winning author of numerous books on parish ministry, the sacraments, Church history, storytelling, and homiletics. His book, Traditions, Tensions, Transitions in Ministry received an honorable mention in 1983 from the Catholic Press Association; Storytelling: Imagination and Faith was awarded second place in 1985 for best pastoral work; The Total Parish Manual won first place in 1995; Brave New Church won first place in 2002; and Once Upon a Gospel won third place in 2009.
He was awarded the President’s Award in 1996 from the National Federation of Priests’ Councils for Parish Leadership, the Catholic Library Association’s Aggiornamento Award for Notable Contribution to Parish Life in 2004 and the Walter J. Burghardt, S. J. Preaching award in 2008 for his contribution to Catholic preaching. He has lectured and given workshops at such colleges and universities as Notre Dame; Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Connecticut; Boston College; Charles Carroll in Cleveland; and in most U.S. dioceses as well as abroad. His latest book is The Story Revealed, a book of homilies.
First and foremost, however, though retired from the pastorate, he remains happily engaged in his first love: being a parish priest active in assisting at three parishes, writing, and giving lectures and retreats.