Sunday Homilies

from Father Kevin Laughery, Troy St. Jerome and St. Jacob St. James Parishes, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Note: Comments from this page do not reach me; instead, email:

The Podcasts

I am somewhat slow to get this past Sunday's homily uploaded.  I was feeling quite tired all weekend and right up to today.  The recording device is in Auburn and I am in Springfield.  I hope to have uploaded it by this evening.  At last, audio Lent will begin.

I enjoyed yesterday's Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes in Decatur, marking the 150th anniversary of the apparitions at Lourdes, France, and the beginning of Lourdes Parish's 50th jubilee year observance.  My parents and I were charter members of the parish when it was created on October 28, 1958 (the same day Angelo Roncalli was elected Pope John XXIII!). 


Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 11:48am CST

I am happy to pass along this document, more conciliatory in tone when speaking of other Christians and people of other faiths than what I refer to as "the July thing."

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 12:49pm CST

Well, I was listening to the "Mass in Slow Motion," and I found a misstatement.  I said "Archimedes" when I meant "Aristotle."  Archimedes was a mathematician and engineer; Aristotle was the philosopher who theorized about the structure of being as "substance" and "accident" and whose ideas theologians borrowed -- for better or for worse -- in applying the concept of "transubstantiation" to the Holy Eucharist.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 6:28pm CST

Last night at 9:40 pm I finished reading The Word of God and the Word of Man by Karl Barth, thereby finishing my reading of the entire 1990 edition of Great Books of the Western World.  My goal had been to finish by my fiftieth birthday.  I made it with 22 days to spare.

I had bought the set in 1993; I did not begin reading in earnest until early 1996 -- over eleven years ago.

Now that I have read the "Great Books," I have the rest of my life to engage in scholarship: dipping back into these books for the sake of my ongoing enrichment.  It's going to be good.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 11:53am CST

I have limited time to upload the homily, since I left my power cord at my office last week and I have only 46 min. of battery and the uploading is ridiculously slow today.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 12:35pm CST

The blowing-snow conditions are making travel treacherous.  I have decided to have today's 4:00 pm Mass at Auburn rather than at Divernon.  The rest of the schedule will proceed as usual: Sat. 5:30 pm, Sun. 8:00 and 10:15 am, all at Auburn.

Travel safely if you must travel, and remember, especially in regard to coming to Mass, that no one is bound to the impossible.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 10:23am CST

I uploaded the file and listened to it from Libsyn.  I am pleased to be podcasting again. 

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 12:10pm CST

Thanks to those who alerted me to the fact that I had been uploading silent audio files for the past couple of weeks.  The problem is not with the microphone battery or the microphone, so the recording device itself must be the problem.  I will be checking shortly with the manufacturer and I hope to have the homilies back before too long.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 6:17pm CST

In the ice and snow which we experienced as November faded and December began, I had power and all the comforts of home -- EXCEPT internet.  My ISP got us back in business today.

Very shortly I will upload my homily from the weekend of the First Sunday of Advent.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 3:19pm CST

Sorry, I failed to record this one.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 9:56am CST

OK, I got the problem figured out and I am ready to podcast again.  Two new homilies will appear here in a few minutes.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 9:48am CST


Given that I bought a new computer recently, I am a bit delayed in making all the transitions from old to new.  In the case of the homilies, my recording software seems to be clashing with the version of Windows XP that came with this new computer.  I am checking with the software company on this.  I did not record last Sunday, 33rd in OT, but I do have 32nd OT recorded, and I will keep recording so there will be plenty to listen to after I have resolved the problem.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 10:56am CST

I'm sorry for the delay in getting last Sunday's homily uploaded.  I had a cold over the weekend.  I'm amazed that I am over it already.  I am accustomed to colds that go on for weeks.  Meanwhile, my new laptop arrived yesterday and I am in the midst of all the business of transferring data from the old laptop to the new one.  I'll catch up before too long!
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 4:18pm CST

I was just watching the BBC's coverage of the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as U.S. Secretary of Defense.  I cannot describe my relief over this sign that the Bush Administration is, however feebly and however late, responding to reality.

I heard Mr. Rumsfeld's parting words.  He is unrepentantly arrogant to the end.  His comments informed all of us who oppose his precious "first war of the twenty-first century" that we misunderstand it -- as one might misunderstand a gifted child, I suppose.  How can we fail to understand that this war in Iraq was conceived because of this administration's fatal hubris and willingness to lie to the world about the existence of weapons and the nonexistent connection between Saddam Hussein and the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001?  How can we fail to understand bloodshed for no reason?  But this quality is inherent in arrogance: to suppose that those who disagree, if not disloyal, are, at the very least, stupid.  But this is the chief and mortal flaw of the arrogant person: the unwillingness to see that he does not have a monopoly on wisdom -- the resistance to the fact that others perceive truth without its being "managed" or "spun."  Someone once said that the truth will set us free.  There is freedom in acceding to the fact that truth is accessible to all human minds and hearts.  But the arrogant one denies this.  And so he condemns himself to self-inflicted deception.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 5:20pm CST

If you desire a break from American politics, try Church politics.  We now have an order from on high regarding a perceived need to keep lay people from purifying sacred vessels.  As of January 1, an ordained person must do it.  (So can an acolyte, but in practice such officially-installed acolytes are not to be found; women cannot be acolytes, so we refrain from making acolytes.  The official acolyte is a "lay ministry," supposedly; but in practice it is treated as the minor order it once was.) 

This reminds me of something I once said when at Mass a seminarian and I were struggling with getting incense to burn: "This is why we spend eight years in the seminary: to learn to light charcoal!"  More to the point, we as the Catholic Church are experiencing a rollback of the great liturgical progress we were making following the Second Vatican Council.  The Council taught us that each believer (not just the ordained) has an active role in the liturgy.  Further, we learned that the sign-value of each sacrament must be used to the fullest.  Cardinal Arinze's comments on intinction, on the other hand, belittle the importance of actual eating and drinking in the sacrament of the Eucharist.  We will comply, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 3:53pm CST

The computer just ate my message.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 2:21am CST

Hello everyone,
Monday morning I got an Oyster.  You may ask, "What's so exciting about that?"  Oyster is what they call the London universal pass for the Underground and the buses.  You "touch in" and "touch out" on entering and leaving the Underground -- that way, the system calculates the proper fare and deducts it (even if the visitor to London has made his journey in a roundabout way).  It's been extremely convenient for all the running around I've been doing the last three days.
Monday I proceeded to go to Greenwich and hence make a "journey to the beginning of time."  The Royal Observatory gives you the opportunity to stand on the Prime Meridian, and to find out just what exactly determined it.  (Waverly: keep in mind that the ninetieth meridian west, halfway between the Prime Meridian and the International Date Line, crosses Route 104 just a little bit west of Waverly.)  It was at an international conference in Washington in 1884 -- there was quite a bit of rivalry between London and Paris on this -- but the U.S. helped to swing the decision toward London (Greenwich Observatory).  The prime meridian was defined by the crosshairs of the "Great Transit" telescope at the Greenwich Observatory.  I watched the time ball drop at 1 pm -- this is/was for the benefit of ships on the Thames.  The observatory is found at the top of a steep hill.  After my journey up that hill, I found myself kind of lightheaded and my adherence to the 1200-calorie diet immediately became less strict.  (What a sacrifice.)  Among other things, I fortified myself that evening with a pub meal of roast chicken, veggies and "chips."  I was pleased to find out that pubs in London do have non-alcoholic beer.  So far I have had a Guinness brand called "Kaliber" and the German Beck's NA.  I liked them.  I still haven't found them in grocery stores, however.
Tuesday it was another trip to Leicester Square for a theater ticket.  Then I went to the Tower of London.  (That's another of those things that brings forward the question "Why didn't you see it in '82?" because, indeed, the Tower is the key to the history of London for the last thousand years.)  I took the yeoman warder's tour.  They really play up all the executions that took place there or at nearby Tower Hill.  (It will cause me to think differently about a certain small town in central Illinois.  Thomas More was one of those executed on the Hill.  The yeoman warder's talk belittled Henry VIII in this matter.)  And of course I saw the crown jewels, including the world's largest diamond, the Cullinan I "Star of Africa" at the top of Elizabeth's scepter.  The Tower was a very full day, followed by a full evening at The Producers, which of course was very successful in its initial New York run with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.  The two guys in the main roles were likewise superb -- tremendous singers.  And yes, it was very funny.
Today I got a late start.  I had a wonderful salmon dinner at a seafood restaurant about a block away from where I am staying (French management apparently).  I visited the Roman Catholic cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, and two nearby Catholic bookstores.  I walked by Buckingham Palace, through either Green Park or St. James Park and then the east end of Hyde Park. 
Tomorrow I plan to work in another show.  I've never seen Les Miserables, so that might be a possibility.  It's been playing in London for 21 years.  While I was at The Producers, Spamalot was having its gala opening, with all the living Pythons (except Cleese) present.  Spamalot tickets are not being sold at the half-price booth.
I am, in fact, having a thoroughly carefree time.  I may get used to it, and stay carefree whether or not circumstances warrant!
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 3:44pm CST

Thursday afternoon I had an interesting walk which included what the guidebook says was George Orwell's inspiration for the "Ministry of Truth" building in the novel Nineteen Eighty-four.  (Turns out Orwell died close by, at the University College Hospital where I worked in '82.)  I also saw an exhibition of editorial cartoons. 
Friday I did the whole "queue-up-for-half-price-theater-tickets-in-Leicester-Square" thing and did go to a musical that evening.  (I'll tell you about it when I get home.  I guess I will have to pay full price for Spamalot.)  I am still amazed at so many things close to Ogle St. that I never got around to seeing.  You remember the theme from The Patty Duke Show?  About how Cathy Lane had been "everywhere, from Zanzibar to Berkeley Square"?  ("But Patty's only seen the sights/ A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights ...")  Maybe I'm the only one in the universe who remembers those lyrics -- but I have viewed Berkeley Square and its beautiful old plane trees.  This is in the Mayfair area of London, which I think can be classified as the "rich" part of town -- and again, I was really close to it back in '82 and didn't know about it!  Also found an excellent Italian restaurant just a block away from Ogle Street -- I assure you I am still keeping to the diet!
The next observation will be especially appreciated by Democrats.  Saturday I went again to the Mayfair area.  The U.S. Embassy (designed by Eero Saarinen, who also designed the Gateway Arch) is at the west end of Grosvenor Square.  On the north side of the square is a statue of FDR.  Then one must consider the northwest corner of the square.  The U.S. ambassador during the Reagan Administration saw fit to erect a statue of Eisenhower, as if he couldn't stand that the square was dominated by the FDR statue!!!  Saturday's walk also included Savile Row, with the upper-crust men's tailors.
Today, Sunday, I took a quick walk to the Hyde Park area and promptly turned around.  I decided that Hyde Park was too congested.  I have an idea that there may have been a rally or protest or something there.  I wonder what it could have been about?  Let's sum it up by saying that neither Tony nor George is popular here.  (After church today a man said to me, "I hope someday you get the President you deserve.")  And I am getting a lot of reading done.
Finally, about the caffeine I mentioned in the subject line.  I have been having a terrible time (a "Dickens" of a time?) getting to sleep at the proper hour.  I still need to confirm this with Alan, but here's the deal.  I looked around the kitchen and saw that Alan had lots of decaffeinated instant coffee.  I drew the conclusion that his store of coffee was exclusively decaffeinated.  So I have been getting instant coffee out of a yellow jar on the counter ... but now I strongly suspect that I have been ingesting caffeine for several days.
More soon.  KML
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 12:50pm CST

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 5:13 pm.  Mary and Greg, Happy Anniversary!  Yesterday I woke up a few minutes after noon.  I did not leave the presbytery.  I did get my laundry done.  Could not get to sleep until some time after 4 am.  Today I woke up before 9 am.  (My room in the presbytery is very quiet.)  I wandered through bookstores in the morning.  There was a little rain.  The weather is unseasonably warm, in the 60s.
This afternoon I did what could be considered my first tourist bit.  You know, I had thought I had seen London pretty thoroughly when I lived here for nine weeks in 1982.  Then again, I had only one day off per week and at the end of my stay, I didn't hang around London and instead spent a few days in Yorkshire.  Now, what's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of London?  The Houses of Parliament?  I would say that that is the most universally recognizable symbol of London.  But I have to tell you that I really have no recollection of having seen the Houses of Parliament back in 1982.  I corrected that omission today.  The best view of the building is from the south side of the Thames (and I do remember for sure that I never made it to the south side of the Thames -- Southwark or "Sutherk" -- back then).  Well today I took in the whole beautiful vista.  Near Parliament is Westminster Abbey, which I think I visited in '82 (so then why wouldn't I have seen Parliament back then? -- maybe I do need to take pictures).  Over the main door of Westminster Abbey there are sculptures of ten 20th-century saints, including Martin Luther King.  I think I'll go inside the Abbey tomorrow; having read The Da Vinci Code, I am interested in seeing the monument for Newton.
Having done a lot of walking today, I hope that getting to sleep tonight will be no problem.  I think my 1200-calorie diet can be bent today.  Fr. Alan doesn't appear to keep much fresh fruit around.  I've bought some clementines and Braeburn apples.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 11:35am CST

After an uneventful air trip, I am in London where I worked as a deacon in the summer of 1982.  I arrived at the parish for the 9:00 am Mass with three minutes to spare.  I have located an internet cafe, from which I am sending this message.  I am walking around the old neighborhood.  Both of the hospitals where I worked have undergone great changes.  The parish church has a completely remodeled interior, in keeping with guidelines on providing for baptism of adults by immersion.  I will write some more after I have done some more.
Direct download: KML_2006-09-24.mp3
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 8:58am CST

I have an extraordinary opportunity before me.  A recently-retired priest of my diocese is providing weekend coverage for me for four consecutive weekends.  I will be away from my parish and from tribunal for nearly five weeks.  I will not post another homily until Sunday, October 29.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 9:35am CST

After consulting FAQs regarding my voice recorder, it appears I have solved the software problem and will have today's homily available for you.  I'm sorry for the couple of weeks without homilies.  Tribunal demands have been heavy, and after a day's work there, I am not inclined to stay in problem-solving mode.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 6:53am CST

The program that comes with my recording device is malfunctioning.  I will try to get it working again so we can listen again.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 6:46pm CST

People are reaching this page thanks to the purchase of  The purchase was not by me but by my lifelong friend Brian Noe ( of Mattoon, Illinois.  Thank you, Domain Angel! 
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 2:28pm CST

I have just started reading a five-volume history of the Second Vatican Council.  These days, many people assert that Vatican II was an aberration.  They are utterly wrong.  Vatican II changed us forever with its orientation toward the world as it is.  It changed our understanding of ourselves as members of a pilgrim people, each individual enjoying a radical equality with all others.  It changed our worship with its admission that praying in our mother tongues might be better than trying to do this in Latin.  It acknowledged the brokenness of Christianity and set us on an irrevocable journey toward unity.  It affirmed that Christians must do much rethinking in relating toward non-Christians and especially toward the Jewish people. 

Check back here for occasional book reports.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 2:50pm CST

I recommend this editorial from the London Tablet:

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 11:42am CST

Hello.  I am enjoying the extremely unusual weather we've been having during May.  In this part of the world, spring is understood to be a period of about two days between winter and summer.  This year, however, I've definitely set a record for being able to leave my windows open and just let the cool air in.  It's 65 here on Sunday morning. 

I am in the midst of an experiment to figure out how to get tribunal work done smarter and faster.  I may actually get some time today to work on some work I've brought home.  But I also have to get in some serious back-porch time!

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 9:38am CST

Lately, my recreations have been of a cerebral nature.  I find great enjoyment, for instance, in proceeding with my "Great Books" project and in doing sudoku puzzles.

I hit a wall about a week ago.  I was extremely tired, and I wondered whether I needed a change in my antidepressants.

I began to consider whether my brain just needed a rest.  I have been trying to rest my brain and I seem to be doing OK.

You there, staring at the computer: Are you thinking too much?

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 10:35am CST

OK.  The photo I tried to post here was calling attention to itself way out of proportion to its importance.  I have removed it from here.  If you want to see it, go to and click "Fr. Kevin."  I'm the guy on the left.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 9:48pm CST

I have very little skill with manipulating digital images.  The image in the previous post is definitely too big.  Anyway, I'm on the left and my bishop is on the right.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 9:41pm CST

I have not posted homilies for Easter Sunday or the Second Sunday of Easter.  I have some time right now to recover from Easter, and I have to say that Easter was pretty exhausting.

I found myself, these last two weekends, deciding that doing the recording was one multitask too many.  I hope that a homily will appear here on the Third Sunday of Easter.

On Easter Sunday, I gave a brief homily which concluded: "The tomb is empty.  Our hearts are full."  On the Second Sunday of Easter, I talked about the earliest Christians having all their goods in common, and I extended this idea to our need to care for our one household, the planet Earth.

I am definitely discontinuing my AOL blog.  It is much handier for me to write ideas in the same place where I put my spoken ideas.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 9:28pm CST

I supposed I would simplify things a bit for myself if I discontinued the blog at AOL and started blogging here. Anyone who has tried to follow my blog knows that I have not been very active with it, and with good reason. I am the pastor of a newly created parish -- a merger of three parishes. I have been serving since July as judicial vicar (head of our diocesan tribunal). I am ecumenical officer of our diocese. Bishop Lucas told me that if I have to cut back, I am to cut back on the ecumenical and interreligious activity. I have resigned from the board of the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association, and I am finding other ways to respect my limits. Being at a computer feels, to me, essentially like work. That is unfortunate, because I have some hobbies that involve the computer. Maybe I am reaching the point where I need two separate computers so I can better separate work from play. Anyway, I seem to be taking some advice I gave a week ago. I told my parishioners that there is a lot of chaos in our lives right now, and one helpful thing we can do is to "enjoy the chaos." I seem to be doing this. It's not too bad!
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 11:58am CST