How to Make Catholic Preaching Better: A Conference in Catholic Homiletics for Catholic Clergy
part of the centenary celebrations of St. Augustine's Seminary in the Archdiocese of Toronto
How can Catholic preachers preach better? What should they do to answer the Church's call for effective preaching in the new evangelizaton? How to Make Catholic Preaching Better: A Conference in Catholic Homiletics explores these questions by bringing together renowned preachers, teachers of preaching, and educators. Presenters will speak about preaching and preach in Morning Prayer, Evening prayer and daily Mass. The conference will include concerts and displays of valuable resources for the preacher.
Here is what we have planned:
Monday, July 7
4 - 5:45 p.m.
Registration, name tags, packages, booksellers and table displays
Keynote Address: Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
Tuesday, July 8
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
Morning Prayer with preaching: Fr. Joseph Mele (Rector of St. Paul Seminary Diocese of Pittsburgh)
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Talk by Fr. James Sullivan, O.P. (Homiletics Professor and Novice Master, St. Gertrude Priory, Cincinnati, OH )
Mass: Fr. James Sullivan, O.P. (St. Gertrude's Priory) preaching
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Booksellers and Display Tables
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Talk by Fr. Joseph Mele (Rector of St. Paul Seminary, Diocese of Pittsburg)
3:00 - 3:30 p.m. Concert
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Talk by Msgr. A. Robert Nusca, (President - Rector of St. Augustine’s Seminary)
Evening Prayer with preaching Msgr. A. Robert Nusca, (President - Rector of St. Augustine’s Seminary)
Open Discussion Lounge
Wednesday, July 9
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
Morning Prayer with preaching: James A. Wallace, C.Ss.R. (Rector and director of San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, New Jersey)
9:30 - 10.30 a.m .
Talk by Fr. James L. Heft, S.M. (IACS at the University of Southern California)
Mass: Fr. James L. Heft, S.M. (IACS at the University of Southern California) preaching
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Booksellers and Table Displays
1:30 - 2:30
Talk by Fr. Guerric DeBona, O.S.B. (Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology)
3:00 - 3:30 p.m. Concert
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Talk by Fr. James A. Wallace, C.Ss.R. (Rector and director of San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, New Jersey)
Evening prayer with preaching: Fr. Guerric DeBona O.S.B. (Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology).
6:30 p.m. Supper
8:00 p.m. Exposition until midnight
Open Discussion Lounge
Thursday, July 10
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
Morning Prayer with preaching: Bishop Boissonneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Closing Address: Bishop Boissonneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
Closing Mass: Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto preaching
Book Tables and Display
* the schedule is subject to change
The Registration Fee covers the cost of all the presentations, concerts and meals from Monday evening to Thursday morning. You can register and pay through Ticket Information (above) with your credit card/
Cost: $395 (Canadian dollars - non-refundable)
Accommodation at the seminary is now sold out.
You can also stay at special discount rates for Conference Registrants at
Comfort Inn (3306 Kingston Road)
Phone: (416) 269-7400
The Delta Hotel (2035 Kennedy Road)
Phone: 416-299-0562 Fax: 416-299-8959
St. Augustine's Seminary
2661 Kingston Road
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Tel: (416) 261-7207
Fax: (416) 261-2529
St. Augustine's Seminary was established in 1913 as the first major seminary constructed in English-speaking Canada for the training of diocesan priests. For a century, the seminary has been a renewing source of study and reflection enabling men of faith to mature both in knowledge and commitment. The specific apostolate of St. Augustine's is the preparation of candidates for ordained priesthood in the Catholic Church. The program of priestly formation is guided by the official documents of the Roman Catholic Church: particularly by the Vatican II's Decree on Priestly Formation, the Basic Norms for Priestly Formation of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, The Program of Priestly Formation of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana of Pope John Paul II and Pastores Dabo Vobis, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, as well as the pertinent canons of the Code of Canon Law, and the various guidelines of ecclesiastical authorities.
Our Presenters and Preachers
Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
Born and raised in Guelph, Ontario, Thomas Collins was ordained a priest in 1973. He considered other paths, but was inspired by a high school English teacher who suggested he should consider the priesthood.
He earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in English, later pursuing theological training in Rome. Specializing in the Book of Revelation, he earned his licentiate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Bible Institute and a doctorate in theology from Gregorian University. He was named Bishop of St. Paul, Alberta in 1997 and Archbishop of Edmonton in 1999. Pope Benedict XVl appointed Archbishop Collins he tenth Archbishop of Toronto in December 2006. On February 18, 2012, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals in Rome, becoming the fourth cardinal in the history of the Archdiocese of Toronto and the 16th in Canadian history.
Fr. Joseph Mele
Fr. Joseph Mele is the author of The Sacred Conversation: The Art of Catholic Preaching and the New Evangelization. Father Mele currently serves as the secretary of the Secretariat for Leadership Development, rector of Saint Paul Seminary, director of the Department for Pre-Ordination Formation, and director of the Department for Post-Ordination Formation for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Father Mele earned a Master of Divinity from Saint Francis Seminary, Loretto, in 1973. In addition, he holds a Master of Arts in Formative Spirituality from Duquesne University as well as a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Communications and Rhetoric from Duquesne University. Father Mele also undertook graduate studies in liturgy at the University of Notre Dame.
Fr. James Sullivan O.P.
Fr. James Sullivan, O.P., is a Dominican priest ordained in 1995 for the Province of Saint Joseph (eastern United States). He holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Dominican House of Studies and a Licentiate in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America, both in Washington, DC. Fr. Sullivan has served as Pastor at Saint Dominic’s Church in Youngstown, Ohio and at Saint Louis Bertrand Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He has taught systematic theology at Saint Joseph’s Seminary—Dunwoodie, in Yonkers, New York, and preaching at Mount Saint Mary Seminary of the West in Cincinnati, Ohio. At present, Fr. Sullivan is the Novice Master at Saint Gertrude Priory in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Msgr. A. Robert Nusca
Msgr. Nusca studied at the University of Toronto and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1980. He received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from St. Paul’s University (Ottawa), and a Master of Divinity from St. Augustine’s Seminary of Toronto in 1988. After serving as Associate Pastor at All Saints Parish, Etobicoke for one year, he was assigned to further studies in Rome in 1989, where he completed the Licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 1993, and the Doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1998.
Msgr. Nusca joined the Faculty of St. Augustine’s Seminary in 1996, and was appointed President-Rector in June of 2001.
Fr. Guerric DeBona O.S.B.
Fr. De Bona is a monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana, USA. Ordained in 1986, he serves as professor of Homiletics and Communication in Saint Meinrad School of Theology. Fr. De Bona is also Novice and Junior Master at Saint Meinrad Archabbey.
Published on a variety of areas, his works include books on homiletics, film and popular culture/communication. His most recent book is Preaching Effectively, Revitalizing Your Church (Paulist, 2009) and Between the Ambo and the Altar, Cycle A (Liturgical Press, 2013), a preaching commentary on the Sunday Lectionary.
Fr. James L. Heft, S.M.
James Heft, S.M., (Marianist) is a priest in the Society of Mary and leader for twenty years in Catholic higher education. He spent many years at the University of Dayton, serving as chair of the Theology Department for six years, Provost of the University for eight years, and then Chancellor for ten years. He left the University of Dayton in the summer of 2006 to found the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he now serves as the Alton Brooks Professor of Religion and President of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies. He has written and edited twelve books and published over 175 articles and book chapters. Most recently he edited Passing on the Faith: Transforming Traditions for the Next Generation of Jews, Christians and Muslims (Fordham University Press, 2006); and Beyond Violence: Religious Sources of Social Transformation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Fordham University Press, 2004).
In 2011 he had four books published: he edited Learned Ignorance: Intellectual Humility Among Jews, Christians and Muslims (Oxford, 2011); Catholicism and Interreligious Dialogue (Oxford 2011); Engineering Education and Practice (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011), and he wrote Catholic High Schools: Facing the New Realities (Oxford, 2011). In 2012 Eerdmans published a book he co-edited with Jesuit historian John O’Malley, After Vatican II: Trajectories and Hermeneutics.
In 2011, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities awarded him the Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for his long and distinguished service to Catholic higher education. He is currently working on a book on Catholic higher education.
Fr. James A. Wallace, C.Ss.R.
Father James A. Wallace, CSsR, is a Redemptorist priest, author, and has served as professor of homiletics at the Washington Theological Union (1986-2012) and Mt. St. Alphonsus Redemptorist Theologate (1973-1985). He has given workshops, conferences, and retreats in the USA and abroad. He has served as president of the Academy of Homiletics (2005), the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics. (1992), and the Religious Speech Communication Association (1981). He is presently rector and director of San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, New Jersey, where he preaches retreats.
His publications include: Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart, The Homily on the Feasts and Within the Rites; Living the Word, Cycles A, B, and C (with Dianne Bergant, C.S.A) and Cycles B and C with Professor Dennis Sylva;The Preaching of the Sunday Assembly, A Pastoral Commentary on “Fulfilled in Your Hearing,” (Ed. and contributor); All Your Waves Swept Over Me, Looking for God in Natural Disasters (Co-edited with Nancy DeFlon and contributor); Lift Up Your Hearts, Homilies for Cycles A, B, and C, with Robert Waznak, SS and Guerric DeBona, OSB; The Ministry of Lectors (English and Spanish); and Imaginal Preaching. His articles have appeared in Worship, New Theology Review, Preach, and America.
Bishop Boissonneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
Bishop John Boissonneau is Auxliary Bishop of Toronto with responsibility for the Western Region that includes 70 parishes in the western part of the City of Toronto and the Regional Municipality of Peel-Dufferin. Bishop Boissonneau was born in Toronto and ordained to the priesthood on December 14. 1974. He served at the Chancery office and after graduate studies served from 1982 until 2001 in the education of priests at St. Augustine's Seminary of Toronto. In addition to his regional responsibilities, he is also Vicar for Christian Education, Vicar for Liturgy and Archdiocesan Liaison with the Catholic Faculties of Theology.,
Emperor String Quartet The Emperor Quartet has performed chamber music for over twenty years both in Canada and internationally in a vast array of public and private concernts including those for the heads of state of several countries. Their rec0rdings have received widespread broadcast.
Peter Daly Peter Daly is the organist and music director at St. Augustine’s Seminary. He holds licentiates from the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome in Gregorian Chant and Composition, and a Master’s degree in Organ Performance (Mamo). He has served as the organist at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto.
St. Michael’s Choir School St. Michael’s choir school was founded by Monsignor J. E. Ronan and has served the Archdiocese of Toronto since 1937 training boys’ choirs that sing regularly at St. Michael’s Cathedral. Affiliated with the Pontifical Institute in Rome, the choir also performs on tour.
Taize Musicians The Toronto East End Taize prayer group is based in St. Martin de Porres Parish in Scarborough. It was founded in 2002 by Coco and Rosina Eco-Aguirre. The musicians are Lisa Harper Dsouza (vocals) and Feliz Arifin (piano).
The Victoria Scholars The Victoria Scholars Men’s Choral Ensemble based in Toronto was founded in 1993 by graduates from Toronto’s St. Michael’s Choir school. Named after Renaissance composer Tomas Luis de Victoria, the Victoria Scholars has produced several recordings, performed with international vocal soloists and toured extensively. It is conducted by Jerzy Chichocki.
William O’Meara William O’Meara is a concert organist who has performed throughout North America, South America and Europe including St. Paul’s Cathedral in London (UK), Harvard University (Cambridge, USA), and the Perm Organ Festival (Perm, Russia). He has performed many Canadian premieres and is in demand for international festivals and concert series.