These homilies are made available for priests to use for reference in preparing their own homilies on NFP-related topics.
On the Transmission of Life
By Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis
The 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Humanae Vitae Anniversary Mass 2012
As we gather this afternoon for our weekly Mass we also mark the anniversary of Pope Paul VI Encyclical on the Transmission of Life frequently referred to by its Latin title Humanae Vitae.
Tuesday’s gospel about the Good Samaritan captures this document beautifully. To begin with this parable about compassion forces us to look within ourselves to see what motivates us. Once confronted with the truth we have to properly form our consciences and respond in faith – compassion becomes care – becomes love.
By Bishop Edward Rice
Infertility Mass 2014
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes – the Shrine known for its healing properties. People go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes seeking healing for physical or spiritual problems. Over the years there have been a rather large number of miracles submitted to Rome for documentation, but actually the number of authenticated miracles is much smaller. There is a great wisdom in the Church. The Church proceeds cautiously, never wanting to be premature in declaring something to be a miracle. The last thing that we would want is for a miracle to be viewed years later, and to be discovered that it wasn’t a miracle at all - it was rather misguided, and that could possibly maybe hurt people’s faith.
Homily Contest Winners
Each year, Seminarians in the Marriage and Family Life Class write a homily on an NFP-Related topic. The best homily is rewarded and posted here.
Smart Technology for Marriage
By Fr. Daniel Belkin
Homily Contest Winner – 2020
One thing that has really piqued my interest as a sort of technology enthusiast in the last several years has been the advances made in smart home technology. There have been great strides in making our homes more connected, or "smarter" than ever before. Whether it is controlling your thermostat, turning the lights on and off, streaming music to whatever room of your house, watching your electric meter, seeing video footage of every angle of the home- you name it, and it seems that we have the ability to do it. And, I'll be one to admit it- I really enjoy having a home that is "smart" in many respects. I get to know exactly how much the air conditioning runs, how much the water heater is on, what is going on. It's all about trying to better manage what is going on in my home- promoting harmony, and making improvements where I can.
A Tale of Two Couples
By Fr. Nicholas Ashmore
Homily Contest Winner – 2019
Imagine with me, for a moment, two couples. Both are in the mid-sixties. Both are Catholic. Both live in the Midwest, and both had three children, two boys and a girl. They sent their children to Catholic Schools and participated in the life of their parish. There is one crucial difference, however. One couple used contraception. The other used NFP, Natural Family Planning.
On Holy Trinity Sunday
By Fr. Drew Hoffman
Homily Contest Winner – 2016
Purpose: Contraception keeps a family from fulfilling its dignity as an image of the Trinity because it does not allow for the mutual total gift of self.
A couple of weeks ago I was attempting to explain the Trinity to a 2nd Grade PSR class. We discussed the sign of the Cross, the three persons in one God, and the shamrock as a helpful image. Their receptivity to it was impressive—children have an insight into these difficult subjects that sometimes adults do not—but as you can imagine, the task was not an easy one. The Trinity is a complex and difficult issue, one full of thoughts and questions, even for the greatest theological mind. Even St. Augustine, one of the great thinkers in history, was told by an angel that attempting to fully comprehend the Trinity was as possible as putting all of the water in the ocean into a hole in the sand on the beach.
It Is Worth It
By Fr. Edward Voltz
Homily Contest Winner – 2015
Suppose a young married couple, deeply in love, was told that their dream house was in grave danger. This was a home that reminded them of all of the joys and happiness they had formed together. They could not afford to buy another home, and on top of that, this was a home of exquisite beauty and worth. Yet they were informed one day that there was a 50% chance that it would burn to the ground at some inopportune time in the years ahead, with little to no warning. They were told there would be no loss of life involved, but still, the house would be lost.
Natural Family Planning: the Way, the Truth, and the Life
By Fr. Andrew Burkemper
Homily Contest Winner – 2012 Gospel: John 14:1-12
I imagine that most of us here- yes, I even have to admit it for myself- have had the unfortunate experience of being lost. Maybe we were in unfamiliar territory, or maybe we thought we knew where we were going but eventually found out that we didn’t. Either way, we were lost and likely very glad when we found our way. I also imagine that each one of us, at least once in our lives, has been wrong about something. Maybe it was a question on a math test or our belief that the Cubs would actually win a World Series. In whatever the case, we have all been wrong and, though we may not immediately admit it, we are glad when we are brought from error to truth.
Conduct Your Affairs With Humility
By Fr. Charles Samson
Homily Contest Winner – 2013
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Two weeks ago, I ran in my high school cross country team’s annual Alumni Race. It’s an occasion to which I look forward every year; the current SLUH cross country team invites its alumni back to Forest Park for a day of camaraderie, reminiscing and, well, competition (we’re guys!). It always humors me to see how we alumni have changed over the years, but it always humors me even more to note that one thing which doesn’t ever seem to change among the alumni: some are still convinced that they are in the same shape that they were in high school. These fellas take off like a shot out of a gun and burn a way-too-fast first mile, only to crater in the then quite painful second mile. That 2nd mile makes these alumni face the facts, own up to the truth, about themselves; they are not in high school anymore.
By Fr. Thomas Grasfgaard
Homily Contest Winner – 2016
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B Gen 2:18-24; Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5; Heb 2:9-11; Mk 10:2-16
Perhaps the biggest craze right now is “reducing your carbon footprint”. “Buy organic” and “going green” are the new slogans of the day. Compared with 20 or even 10 years ago, it’s clear that there has been a surge in the availability of organic foods and number of health stores that carry only 100% whole foods and products. No company or business that promotes products and practices that are “100% sustainable”, “all organic”, or “not tested on animals”, are ever afraid to admit of that fact and to make sure that every consumer knows it.