Are You Living in the Light of the Word?

Here at Pray Tell we recently had a lively discussion about whether, and to what extent, Catholics are immersed in and formed by the Scriptures today. Are we “a biblical people” as Paul Inwood asks? Can we foster a rich “associative imagination” that will bring Scriptural language and the language of liturgy to life, as Sr. Genevieve Glen described it in her recent essay in Worship?

The upcoming Marten Conference on Preaching, to be held this June at the University of Notre Dame, suggests that preaching can indeed help to form us in the Word. Not only can it help, it really must  — for the sake of the Church’s life and future. A wide array of speakers will explore various aspects of how it’s done, and fire some fresh enthusiasm for the effort.

This biennial conference was supposed to be held when the pandemic first hit, and was delayed so that it could be an in-person event. Therefore it is  with something of an alleluia that I share the details with you now.

The title: Living in the Light of the Word: Enlivening the Scriptural Imagination for Preaching

What it’s all about:

At this conference, we will take a deep look at how the Holy Scriptures shape and inspire our preaching.  How do we turn from love of the Word of God to the kind of preaching which the Christian community needs for its very life?  What are the imaginative leaps which preaching demands as we turn from ancient texts to contemporary listeners?

I’m honored to be giving one of the keynote addresses. Here is the list of the four keynote speakers and the titles of their presentations.

Keynote speakers:
  • Tom Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, “Explaining, Exclaiming, and Proclaiming: Reclaiming the Parabolic Imagination for Preaching”
  • Rita Ferrone, Catholic scholar and journalist, “Receiving the Sunday of the Word of God”
  • Gary Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Thought, University of Notre Dame, “Preaching from the Whole Bible”
  • Fr. Donald Senior CP, Professor of New Testament Studies and President Emeritus, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL, “Preaching the Incarnate Word”


There will also be many workshops offered during the conference. The full list and all the speaker bios can be found by clicking on the link at the bottom of their announcement page.

(Pray Tell readers will be especially glad to see that Fr. J. Michael Joncas, a regular contributor to this blog, is among them. He will be giving a workshop on music and preaching.)

Registration Information with full details can be found here. An early bird registration fee is available for those who register by April 30.




3 responses to “Are You Living in the Light of the Word?”

  1. Lee Bacchi Avatar
    Lee Bacchi

    I want to attend, but out-of-town family will be in for that week. Darn!!

    1. Rita Ferrone Avatar
      Rita Ferrone

      Oh Lee, too bad! I would have liked to have met you in person — from blog to real life is a transition we don’t often get to make, except at conferences. 🙂

      FYI — to anyone who is interested but can’t come — I know it’s not the same as participating in a live event, but there will be a book. Shall keep our readers at Pray Tell posted.

      1. Lee Bacchi Avatar
        Lee Bacchi

        Thanks, Rita, good to know that. I know it would be great to meet you in person.

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