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“Good preaching is like mortal sin…”: Chatting with Fr. Robert McTeigue on his new book

I HAVE SOMEONE TO TELL YOU

Photo courtesy: Fr. Robert McTeigue, SJ

Elizabeth Scalia - published on 05/13/17

A book on preaching that serves both the priest and the person in the pew

Father Robert McTeigue, SJ, is a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus and a professor of philosophy and theology. He has taught and lectured internationally and has long experience in spiritual direction, retreat ministry and religious formation. He is also a popular regular contributor to Aleteia. We asked him for a fast-take on his new book on preaching, I Have Someone to Tell You:  A Jesuit Heralds the Gospel, a book that has something to say not just to priests or deacons, but also to the people in the pews who hear them.

1) What inspired the book?

Parishioners had asked me for years to write a book about preaching, along with a collection of my homilies—they finally convinced me.

2) If you could give this book another title, what would it be?

“I Shall Speak Jesus: Proclaiming Christ from the Catholic Pulpit”

3) a) What person in this book do you most personally identify with?

The author—I feel like I know him.

b) What story or anecdote (or piece of advice) in this book most personally resonated with you?

“Good preaching is like mortal sin: Both require grave matter, sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will — neither happens by accident.”

4) Did writing this book teach you anything? 

Writing this book has taught me to appreciate in a much deeper way the meaning of the phrase, “a labor of love.”

5) If there is one person you want to reach with this book, who would that be?

The person who has given up on hearing anything good coming from a Catholic pulpit.

6) What is the ideal beverage to have in hand while reading your book?

Lagavulin 16-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch, representing my hopes for how people will find this book—substantial, invigorating, and memorable.

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