Aquinas Institute of Theology

The Voice of the Bridegroom: Preaching as an Expression of Spousal Love

Author
Benjamin Adam Roberts D.Min.
Abstract
The intention of this project is twofold. The first intention is the creation of the nuptial hermeneutic for preaching. The second intention is to offer the nuptial hermeneutic to a group of priests in their second five years of ministry and evaluate it as a source of renewal.

Chapter 1 explores the spousal relationship between husband and wife. Rooted in the nuptial vision of Pope St. John Paul II, it explores anthropology, asymmetrical reciprocity, marital love, the conjugal bond and good of the spouses, fruitfulness and responsible parenthood, and marital spirituality.

Chapter 2 examines the spousal relationship between the priest and the Church. It provides an overview of the ministerial priesthood, a brief biblical examination of Jesus as Bridegroom, the relationship between the royal and ministerial participations in the priesthood of Christ, charity, the sacramental character and bond, fruitfulness, and spirituality.

Chapter 3 proposes preaching as an expression of spousal love. It examines nuptiality as a theological category and presents the seven characteristics of the nuptial hermeneutic for preaching. These characteristics are utilized to explore the assembly, preacher, homily, and homiletical method. The chapter concludes with a strategy for preaching using the nuptial hermeneutic.

Chapter 4 documents the development of the pastoral appropriation for this project. The method of presentation, a podcast series with fourteen episodes, is different from the original one-and-one-half-day workshop project design. This chapter recounts the reasons for modification, reviews the podcast format and presentation design, and offers a preliminary evaluation of this format.

Chapter 5 details results from the project. It describes the participants, presents data collection points, and offers a summary of the results of the pastoral appropriation. Along with some observations, recommendations, and possible areas of future study, this chapter concludes with a positive judgment of the nuptial hermeneutic as a source of renewal.

Preaching with the autism community

Author
Robert J Skinner
Abstract
The autism community in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis desires full inclusion in preaching and catechesis as both servants and consumers of the services available from the parishes within the diocese. Research on this thesis was conducted using qualitative analysis and a modified action research formula which allowed the researcher to canvas and assess both the autism community and the catechist-preachers involved in integrating the autism community more fully into the Body of Christ and the life of the Church. The autism community was surveyed with the community expressing both the need and the way forward to the fullest inclusion.

The Hidden Charism of the Order of Preachers An Initial Investigation into the Preaching of Dominican Nuns

Author
Megan E McElroy
Abstract
The nuns of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) participate in the preaching mission of the Order despite being cloistered and monastic. Using the anthropological and cultural methodology of ethnography, particularly participant observation, the researcher discovered how the nuns preach. Through interviews with the nuns of three monasteries and the laity who live near them, the author discovered that the nuns preach by their very existence, through their prayer, and in their liturgies. The physical presence of the monasteries also preaches that there are some women who, in consecrating their lives to the Lord, say that God is enough.

Silence in Support of Speaking How Reflective Practices Can Lead to Transformative Preaching

Author
Elizabeth B Frey
Abstract
Reflective practices grounded in silence are essential strategies for engaging difficult scripture texts. This thesis offers resources for preparation and ongoing formation in the preaching life. The author reviews the literature on difficult scripture texts and proposes interpretive methods for depth analysis. She explores how reflective practices support interpretation by bringing together theological reflection with the adult pedagogical theory known as Transformative Learning to focus on the preacher's frame of reference. She proposes a model of reflection in sermon preparation and investigates its effectiveness in a collaborative study. Finally, she offers four markers to assess reflective practices in preaching.

Preaching on controversial issues

Author
Alan J Momney
Abstract
The thesis of this paper is that preaching on controversial issues in Roman Catholic Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist is lacking, and can be assisted by insights from conflict management theory, and principles of coping with fear from the field of psychology. The thesis seeks to test out insights from these two fields with six preachers who were invited to preach at least one homily on a controversial issue. The result of the study revealed that the preachers were using the insights intuitively in an effective way, even though they were not able to recognize it in their own preaching.

The deacon preacher: bringing the four dimensions of formation to the pulpit

Author
Edward P Munz
Abstract
Diaconal formation often consists primarily of academic coursework that strengthens the intellectual dimension; however, the human, spiritual, and pastoral formation of candidates for ordination remains more understated. Qualitative research supports the fact that when the preacher is formed to understand the ministry of preaching as a gift from God that demands an investment of the whole person, the assembly is drawn into a deep relationship with the Risen Christ, which in turn fosters a desire for conversion of heart. Good and effective preaching is an invitation to dwell within the word, inviting a loving relationship with God and neighbor.

Back to the Future: How Guided Awareness of Past Preaching can Enhance the Future Ministryof Preaching

Author
Sharon M Schuhmann
Abstract
The thesis identified how Guided Awareness experiences of spiritual reflection on preached events would enhance preaching. Guided Awareness focused on the preachers' spiritual reflection of their preaching rather than critiques or assessments. The hypothesis of the project is that preachers can transform their preaching for the common good of the Church by engaging in spiritual reflection. Research explored the call for preaching reflection. Preachers attended an introductory presentation, completed presentation surveys, participated in Guided Awareness experiences on their preaching, and completed a post-experience survey. Qualitative research gave evidence that Guided Awareness experiences of preaching are spiritually transformative for preachers.

Preaching as a healing act: a model for priest, ministers, and chaplains at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

Author
Celestine O Obidiegwu
Abstract
We observe the provision of pastoral care to the sick, suffering, and aged as a fundamental part of the mission of the Church, grounded on the ministry of Jesus as recorded in the Scripture. It discusses not only the elderly population demographics in the U.S., but also the necessity for ongoing provision of preaching and ministry to them. It examines the current literature and position of the Church on the provision of pastoral care at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. We also explores different biblical responses to the ongoing mystery of suffering, sickness, aging, and healing. How did some biblical characters grapple with their suffering? How did they perceive the goodness of God in the face of it? This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the genre and theological, contextual, and historico-cultural background of some biblical texts concerning suffering, aging, and healing. We will demonstrate the Church's understanding and renewal of preaching in the last fifty years through a review of current literature and official documents of the Church. Though this review will reflect the perspective of the Catholic Church, this chapter also offers an overview of what constitutes Christian preaching and what its rich history, renewal, and methodology have to offer the Christian Church in general. We examine the current practices and ministry of preaching at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. A review of current literature on preaching to the elderly population enriched the understanding of what it means to preach an effective homily to them. Chapter Five demonstrates a four-part workshop that will aid chaplains and ministers to be more effective preachers to the target population. This workshop attempts to answer the question, "What constitutes effective preaching with which residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities can connect?"

Seeking the song of the desert: online retreat preaching with parents of children with a disability

Author
Dawn M Carrillo
Abstract
This qualitative research project sought to determine the efficacy of preaching in the context of an online retreat. The author created a focus group of parents of children with a disability, articulating the spirituality that can arise in this group. Though not without limitations, results confirm that online retreat preaching is a powerful method for deepening participants' spiritual lives when done with attention to quality. Conclusions reveal an enormous potential for the church in ministering within the expanse of the Web both for people who may be isolated and for anyone else with access to the Internet.

Beyond the preaching task: a vocational retreat with Humbert of Romans

Author
Patricia A Hale
Abstract
Chapter one presents the opportunity for this thesis project. It develops an argument for the need for greater theological reflection on the vocation of preaching for modern preachers. It does so by outlining current challenges in homiletical education and ecclesial calls for greater vocational formation for preachers. It suggests that the writings of Humbert of Romans, in his work The Treatise on Preaching, can help modern preachers gain deeper vocational awareness. Chapter two introduces the general cultural context of the thirteenth century. It discusses the emergence of the two great mendicant orders the Dominicans and the Franciscans. It sets into context the life and ministry of Humbert of Romans, the fifth Master General of the Dominican Order and offers a theological analysis of Section One of The Treatise on Preaching. Chapter three introduces a 'dialogue partner' to set alongside the Humbert material. The goal of the dialogue partner was to appropriately apply the material in a practical and contemporary setting. The chapter does this by way of curriculum development and pastoral practice. Theories of adult learning are explored and a retreat curriculum is developed that enables the Humbert material to be considered by preachers in a spiritual and educational setting.Chapter four explains a methodology for determining the effectiveness of the retreat for vocational awareness and examines the feedback from participants. Feedback included written questionnaires, video assessment and field observation. This feedback is used to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the retreat in achieving the goals and outcomes outlined in chapter three. Chapter five offers a review of the entirety of the project based on Scripture verses about preaching which framed the content of each chapter. It reviews insights learned from the project as well as opportunities for future vocational reflection and learning.
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