Ars Praedicandi: Building on the Word

A reader recently sent in an excellent resource for our new series Ars Praedicandi. Building on the Word is “a resource for scripture, culture and faith” run by Fr. George M. Smiga with the intention of furthering the New Evangelization. Fr. Smiga has a doctorate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is a professor at St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Ohio, the pastor of St. Noel Catholic Church in Willoughby Hills Ohio, and a member of the Catholic Biblical Association.

His website is divided into 6 parts: Bible Study, Homilies, Jewish-Christian Resources, Living with Christ, Videos, and Books. The section most applicable to this series is his section on homilies

What is great about Fr. Smiga’s site is how comprehensive it is. While not complete, he is in the process of uploading 10 years of homilies to the website. Each homily is recorded and then transcribed by volunteers from his parish.

Clicking on the “Homilies” tab leads to a page with 5 sections:

  • Cycle A homilies
  • Cycle B homilies
  • Cycle C homilies
  • Homilies for the Feasts of the Year
  • Children’s Homilies

The homilies are then further categorized by each Sunday or Feast Day of the liturgical year. Clicking on Cycle A, for instance, leads to a page with links to every Sunday of the liturgical year. Since there are around 10 years of homilies on his website, each Sunday within each cycle of readings often has multiple homilies that one can look through.

What is great about Fr. Smiga’s site is that it is not designed to be a source for canned homilies. Rather, it is a place for preachers and the faithful alike to find inspiration on the readings from the Sunday lectionary. Fr. Smiga says as much in his introduction to this section of his website:

The Homilies in this section were given over the last ten years at St. Noel Church in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. As all liturgical preaching, they are tied to specific events in the world and in the life of the community. Despite their contingency to a particular setting, they are offered here as a stimulus to homilists and to all who seek to reflect upon God’s Word.

In conjunction with this resource, Fr. Smiga’s most recent homilies are post in audio form on the website of St. Noel Catholic Church. A transcript of his homily is also provided below the audio recording.

Hopefully these two resources will help enrich your experience of the word of God found in the Sunday lectionary.


If you have any resources, homilies, or suggestions for this new series, feel free to email me at or fill out the form in the “Non Solum Question box” on the Pray Tell homepage.

One comment

  1. Father Anthony and Father Smiga keep a measured pace, and that helps with understanding their message. Even as they take their time, they complete their homilies very quickly. They also include the first person plural that unites everyone present – with the exception of Father Anthony’s opening remark that added little to what he had to say.

    In his homily of February 22 (First Sunday of Lent) Father Smiga described at great length a painting by Botticelli that will be unfamiliar to those listening and difficult for them to use in calling up their own brushes with the evil one. He could have used a modern day phenomenon, a common distraction from Lent year after year, such as March Madness, to better effect. Focusing on the sins of individuals as he does, rather than on the collective sins that threaten the unity of his parish or even the national or universal church, will more likely lead those present to private examination of conscience and not to greater appreciation of the divine grace that brought this particular assembly together around the Lord.

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