Help Us Build Our Preaching Resources
Many people don't realize that preaching is a relational, interactive event. Sure, the listeners look passive, but actually, they're engaged in a great deal of activity inside their heads (and, hopefully, their hearts). Really, then, the quality of preaching doesn't depend just on the preacher, but on the preacher–listener connection.
The exact same thing can be said of our preaching resources: Without the input and feedback of both preachers and listeners, they're just not very good. We see the mission of Pastori Fido as primarily one of "bridging" the preacher–listener divide in the Catholic Church. Preachers need more insight into how listeners hear homilies than the usual post-Mass "Good homily, Father"—but that's all most preachers ever get. So we're here to fill in the gap, and we encourage you to look over all the ways you can help below and to start sending in your contributions immediately.
We are always in need of people to write summaries of text resources that practicing preachers would be interested in: books, websites, journals, Church documents, etc. See our Text Resources for the kind of summaries we're looking for. We'll edit these, so you don't have to be an amazing writer to contribute one. There is a general format for them, though, so have a look through those already posted to get a feel for the "template" before embarking on yours, or send us an inquiry by email: contact AT pastorifido DOT com.
Also, send us ideas for resources you think could help improve Catholic preaching or, more generally, help build a culture of preaching in the Catholic Church. If we agree, and it's feasible, we'll be happy to do it.
We need your homilies. Our resources are example-intensive, so we appreciate any- and everyone sharing their work with us: whether Sunday or daily Mass, audio or video, outline or manuscript—send it to us. If we use your homily, we will critique it for both strengths and weaknesses, so our default policy is to completely anonymize all our written examples, and not to mention your name for audio/video examples (although obviously your voice/face will be recognizable to those who know you). If you prefer that we DO give you credit, just say so in your email and we'll happily include your name if we use your example.
The best way to send examples is to upload everything into Google Drive/YouTube/SoundCloud/your parish website/wherever and then email us a link to access it all: contact AT pastorifido DOT com. If that's not possible, you can attach smaller files to an email; larger files you'll need to get creative with.
We know that sending in a homily for critique can be a little nerve-wracking. It takes a brave, humble preacher to open himself up to that. But there is a serious perk: If we choose one of your homilies for use as an example in our resources, you'll get expert feedback on your homily FOR FREE. Other people are paying cash money for that same feedback. (Of course, we think you'll also earn brownie points in Heaven for your selfless contribution to the Church's preaching mission. We're still working on getting our contributors a special indulgence. ;-)
We have a lot more audio/video series we'd like to produce with the help of clergy, but for which we just don't have the capacity at the moment. Some of the ideas are: compilations of things preachers have struggled with and creative ways they overcame them, preaching "tips and tricks" that could help other clergy, funny/heart-warming stories about preaching, interviews with great preachers, etc. If one of these topics (or some other topic) gives you an idea, go ahead and record it and send it in. The more such recordings we collect in advance, the sooner we'll be able to launch a new series.
Check out our Catholics on the Street podcast (aka "CatStreet") for one way we incorporate lay listeners into our preaching resources. That podcast might more accurately be titled "Catholics on the Street or the Internet", because we will use any audio recording of a lay Catholic that we think will help preachers prepare a great homily for an upcoming Sunday or Solemnity. In fact, we need more lay input from outside St. Louis (where we hit the streets), so if you're anywhere but here, definitely send us a recording.
We handle the editing, cutting, and pasting of audio files for all our podcasts, so to contribute to CatStreet, all you need do is record yourself talking about how you feel a particular Sunday/Solemnity reading is relevant to your daily life, telling a story from your life that the reading relates to, explaining something you don't understand in a reading, etc. Whatever you do, try to keep the file at about 1–3 minutes, and definitely find a quiet place to record. If you want to talk about more than one of the readings for a given day, do that in separate recordings.
The best way to send your recording is to upload it into Google Drive/YouTube/SoundCloud/your blog/wherever and then email us a link to access it all: contact AT pastorifido DOT com. If that's not possible, go ahead and attach the audio file to your email, but once it sends, immediately send us another email telling us we should have received an audio file attachment. That way we'll know if transmission failed.
Do note that, in order to ensure our resources are uploaded in time for preachers to use them for homily preparation, we prepare most things far in advance of the day (in the liturgical calendar) that preachers will need them. So if you send in a recording for the upcoming Sunday, it might be three years till we can use that. It's best to send a recording for something that's months away (your favorite reading, maybe? or one that's always stumped you? or one from your patronal feast day?).
We can think of a lot of other podcasts we'd like to produce with lay listeners: a compilation of things people love in preaching, of things they can't stand in preaching, of the best preaching stories people have, the worst, etc. Those specific series aren't in the works at the moment, but they're on our list, because preachers need to hear directly from listeners what works and what doesn't. So if you're excited about one of those ideas, or another we haven't mentioned, go ahead and record it. We're eager to listen!