About: Jim, Dick, and I first began posting homilies on the web in 1999. After 20 years, that preaching site was discontinued and we thought that season of ministry had come to an end. While teaching at Notre Dame during the fall semester of 2020, I reflected on the joys and blessings of this work and realized that the mission of supporting other preachers was not yet finished with me. I launched Preaching Hope in January 2021, with Jim and Dick joining in the mission later that spring.
Preaching Hope offers homilies or homily starters for the upcoming Sunday based on texts from the Catholic lectionary, articles and preaching "sparks" to inspire reflection and new approaches to homily preparation, a helpful list of books and documents, notices of upcoming workshops or preaching events, and a link to the lectionary.
We also offer coaching, consultation, and homily feedback services, along with retreats and missions. The fees for these services are negotiable, and we invite you to contact the preacher/preachers directly, as we are all independent contractors and not employees of the Preaching Hope website. The initial consultation is complimentary. May these resources be a source of hope and inspiration for you!
Dr. Susan Fleming McGurgan
I have worked in pastoral ministry and lay formation for 30 years as a parish minister, formation director, professor, and administrator. I hold a BA Honors History degree from Oklahoma State University, an MA Religion from the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary's Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (Now Bexley-Seabury). Along the way, I completed three years of doctoral work in Ancient History/Classics at the University of Cincinnati, and a museum internship at the Cincinnati Art Museum in the department of Ancient and Near Eastern Art.
I am active in the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics, serving previously as Vice-President and President, and the Academy of Homiletics, currently serving on the Executive Committee as Member-at-Large and Co-Convener of the Theology of Preaching Work Group. In the fall of 2020, I was the Marten Visiting Associate Fellow of Preaching at the University of Notre Dame.
My first homiletics professor taught that every Catholic homily should end in a word of hope. Since that time, the mission of "preaching hope" has driven and inspired me--in preaching, in ministry, and in life. My current research lies at the rich intersection of memory, gratitude, and hope, and the connection between art and theology.
Rev. Richard Eslinger earned a Ph.D. from Boston University School of Theology. His extensive ministry experience includes campus ministry; the national worship office of the United Methodist Church, and pastorates in urban, suburban, and rural parishes. He served as Professor of Worship and Homiletics at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio, on the faculty of Duke Divinity School, and as an adjunct/visiting professor at Vancouver School of Theology, St. Meinrad School of Theology, Aquinas Institute, and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. He is a longtime member of the Academy of Homiletics and the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics. In 2012, he received the highest honor of the Academy, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Author of numerous articles, reviews, books, and chapters in various collections, his most recent book explores the relationship between the sermon and its Eucharistic context: Preaching and the Holy Mystery: The Eucharist as Context and Resource for Proclamation (2016). His current project is an ecumenical introduction to preaching, Practicing Proclamation. In August 2021, he received an Honorary Doctorate from United Theological Seminary for his lifetime contributions to UTS. For fun, he is a glider pilot and flight instructor, and he and his wife are enjoying retirement in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.
Fr. Benjamin Roberts is a priest of the Diocese of Charlotte, NC and pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Monroe, NC. He holds a BA in Philosophy from D’Youville College (now University) in Buffalo, NY and an MDiv and an MA in Systematic Theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. He received the DMin in Preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO and has done additional studies in ecumenism and interreligious dialogue at the Centro Pro Unione in Rome.
Fr. Benjamin serves as adjunct faculty at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. He teaches courses in ecclesiology, homiletics, and the theology of liturgy. He is fascinated by the fundamental theological questions of preaching and how the discipline of homiletics can be of service to the wider field of theology. He is the author of The Voice of the Bridegroom: Preaching as an Expression of Spousal Love from Wipf & Stock and several articles in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.
Among the greatest spiritual experiences of his life were his days on the Camino. He walked the concluding parts of the French route in 2017 and the Portuguese Coastal route in 2019. One of his Compostellas can be seen in his photo. The Compostela is complemented by the picture of St. Ambrose, the pastor-scholar noted for his kindness that he keeps as a model.
Fr. Benjamin is active in the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics and the Academy of Homiletics. He regularly posts his Sunday homilies on the podcast FatherBhomilies.podbean.com.
Rev. Jim Schmitmeyer is a recently retired priest of the Diocese of Amarillo whose last assignment was St. John the Evangelist parish, Borger, Texas. He has been an active pastor, writer, and homiletics teacher who has mentored countless preachers via seminary and diocesan teaching, workshops, and publications. Fr. Jim earned an MA Bible from the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary's Seminary and an MA in Rhetoric from Northwestern. He is the author of several books on preaching, including, Calendar of Care, Preacher in a Hard Hat, and Preaching at the Truckstop: Homilies on the Way to the Big Bash. He is currently working on retreats for rural pastors, exploring the connections of tradition, place, local culture, identity, and transcendence. Fr. Jim loves working with horses and has broken and trained hundreds over his career. His preaching and ministry have been profoundly shaped by his farming background and his heart for the challenges and blessings of rural life.