Clergy gather for Formation Day

Father Don Bolls Discusses the art of writing Homilies.

Father Don Bolls served as presenter during Clergy Formation Day at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Munhall, Pa. on March 7, as priests and deacons of the Archeparchy gathered for prayer and discussion. See page 12 for more photos by Nick Havrilla Sr.

Father Don Bolls was at the head of the class at Clergy Formation Day at St. John the Baptist Catehdral in Munhall, Pa. on March 7. And he was happy so many chairs were filled with 30 priests and deacons eager to hear his presentation on writing homilies. “I actually had to run off extra copies of some of my handouts. I thought if I got 15 that would be huge,” he said. Clergy Formation Days are held regularly throughout the year for priests and deacons of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.

“It’s an opportunity for the men to get together and have some fellowship. We do worship as part of this and usually someone will present something. It could just be reflections on a Bible passage or two. “I enjoy them. I think they’re helpful. I always have a good lunch,” he said, with a laugh. Bolls teaches homiletics at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS.

Cyril and Methodius and serves at Holy Trinity in Wall, Pa. and Church of the Resurrection in Monroeville. Pa. Bolls said he discussed different aspects of writing homilies. “I sort of did a little refresher course but also to give them some different ways…things that might be helpful sometimes when they were in a rut or needed a new approach. “(I presented) some of the things I’ve discovered over the years, either from my own homiletics professors or just the experience of doing this. Some do’s and don’ts; there were a lot of those. Mostly mistakes I have made many times and continue to make.”

Bolls said part of his presentation centered on writing out sermons before Sunday liturgies. “Some of our clergy do and and some don’t…some preach from an outline, some write everything out. I was encouraging them to write sermons out and then perhaps take a stab at memorizing them. “The guys had some good feedback about things that were helpful to them and contributed to the conversation. Some of them had a few questions based on my presentation.” Bolls said everyone enjoyed the day, which helped everyone grow in their faith. “I thought it was a good event. I enjoyed it. I was very gratified with the response.”