Proclaiming the Word of God: Excellence in Catholic Preaching Initiative Receives Lilly Endowment Grant


Washington, D. C., Oct. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Excellence in Catholic Preaching Initiative, a groundbreaking project established by The Catholic University of America, announced today that it has been awarded a generous grant of $1,128,941 from Lilly Endowment Inc. This grant is a significant endorsement of the initiative’s mission to enhance the art of preaching within the Catholic tradition and further the proclamation of the Word of God.

The grant is part of Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative, a national effort aimed at promoting and supporting preaching that inspires, encourages, and guides individuals to deepen their faith and relationship with God. The initiative extends its support to various groups, including seminarians, priests, permanent deacons, and lay women and men.

Key Highlights of the Initiative:

  1. Resource Development: The Catholic University of America will develop curricula and resources in both English and Spanish. These materials will focus on homily preparation, public speaking, and delivery techniques, all rooted in the rich traditions of the Catholic Church. The primary objective is to equip clery and other speakers with the skills and knowledge to effectively engage parishioners and help them deepen their spiritual connection and Christian faith.
  2. Innovative Partnerships: The grant offers a unique opportunity for collaboration with prestigious institutions such as Catholic University’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art, Catholic University Press, and Catholic Faith Technologies. These partnerships will facilitate the development and dissemination of resources in various formats, including print and digital media, making the initiative accessible to a wider audience.
  3. Certificate in Lay Preaching: An additional innovative feature of the initiative is the introduction of a certificate program in lay preaching This program is designed for lay men and women who are actively involved in teaching, offering spiritual reflections, and catechizing in church-based programs. Its purpose is to enhance the preaching and teaching skills of lay leaders, enriching their ability to inspire and guide their communities.

“What makes this grant unique is the ability to partner with Catholic University’s Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art, Catholic University Press, and Catholic Faith Technologies to address both the content and the proclamation that makes preaching effective and to make resources available across print and digital format,” said Susan Timoney, associate dean for graduate ministerial studies.

Lilly Endowment Inc.’s compelling Preaching Initiatives supports a total of 81 organizations from diverse Christian faith communities, reflecting the rich tapestry of Christian traditions across the United States. The initiative recognizes the importance of adapting preaching practices to effectively engage new generations, ensuring the enduring accessibility of the Gospel message to all audiences. The grant awarded to The Catholic University of America is a testament to Lilly Endowment’s commitment to this essential endeavor.

About The Catholic University of America

The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University comprises 12 schools and more than 30 research facilities and is home to approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion, and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.

CONTACT: Nicole Germain The Catholic University of America 202-319-5786 [email protected] 

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