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Preacher on preaching: 'homily needs focal point'

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Fr. James J. Bacik told a national assembly of Catholic priests here today that a good homily has a focal point.

“We need focal points, not themes,” he said. A good homily “has to have a concern. It has to have some joy, some sorrow. It’s co-relational.”

But to deliver such a homily the preacher, he explained, needs to know the concerns of those he is preaching to. And how do I know their concerns? “You have to be in dialogue with the people,” he said. If I cannot come up with an example I throw it away … “A doctor burdened with paper work, people burdened with guilt.”

Vatican denies Boston parishioners' final appeal to keep churches open

Parishioners who have occupied a closed Massachusetts Catholic church for nearly a decade said they plan one final petition to Pope Francis to prevent the building from being sold by the Boston archdiocese.

Jon Rogers, a member of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Scituate, said petitioning the pope was a last-resort measure. Despite the step, he said he was not sure it would succeed.

"We promised 10 years ago when we started this we would exhaust every avenue of appeal," Rogers told Catholic News Service on Tuesday.

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