Homily NoDoz: Public speaking school for seminarians

Pope leads general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis leading a general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 3. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — Inspired by Pope Francis’ criticism of boring homilies, a group of Italian seminarians apparently will now be taking courses in public speaking and effective communication.

According to the Italian daily La Nazione, the Pontifical Regional Seminary located in Assisi is making its future priests get lessons from consultants, who normally work with top business managers and stage actors.

One group of 15 seminarians reportedly start its three-day program today.

Apparently the idea was triggered, not just by Pope Francis’ unique speaking style, but by what he said in his Oct. 4 homily at Mass in the Cathedral of San Rufino.

Speaking to an audience of priests and men and women religious, the pope said it was impossible to preach if one didn’t first have one’s heart open to God and illuminated by his word.

“Enough of these endless, boring homilies which can’t be understood,” he told his listeners.