Parish priest cuts homilies to
A PRIEST has promised
to cut his Sunday homilies to just five minutes to
stop people getting "bored" at Mass.
Culdaff-born Fr Paddy O'Kane said he learned on a
recent pastoral sabbatical to Texas that the best
homilies are "short", "spoken from the heart" and
"not read from a script".
And he agreed with the view that "Mass can be so
"Many of us priests, including myself, are under the
illusion that our homilies are more interesting than
they really are..," he said.
"A wise old priest once told me,‘If you cannot
strike oil in the first five minutes, better stop
Fr O'Kane, who is
parish priest at Holy Family, Ballymagroarty, Derry,
said he has now "made a deal" with parishioners to
slash the time they have to listen to him on a
He said he also came to this decision after being
invited onto a number of national and local radio
stations recently to discuss his controversial views
on the materialism now associated with First Holy
"One man made a fair point in Co Kildare," Fr O'Kane
said in his weekly column.
"He asked, ‘Why should I bring my child to Mass when
all they do is yawn throughout a long sermon in a
language they don’t understand? Father, Mass can be
so boring’. I had to agree," added the
Fr Paddy O'Kane.
"However, because of my
Texan view–from–the–pew experience and validity of
that radio comment I made a deal with the people
here last weekend, namely approximately five-minute
homilies from now on. One wag shouted up ‘Father ,
could you not make that four?" he quipped. He also
urged local youngsters to attend the weekly
Children’s Liturgy each Sunday “where the Word of
God is explained in simple language”.