April 1, 2024 | Local News, Your Stories, Youth
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Hunter Korte discusses his homily in the chapel on Dec. 11, 2023. COURTESY OF JAYDEN CARRILLO

‘Sophomore homilies’ give students a glimpse of what priests do each Sunday

Editor’s note: The Western Kentucky Catholic recently completed a project with the journalism class at St. Mary High School in Paducah. Journalism teacher Melissa Reed, collaborating with WKC editor Elizabeth Wong Barnstead, assigned articles to five students, who each chose a topic at the school to write about, with the agreement that these articles would be published by the WKC. Please enjoy the articles by these student writers.


At St. Mary School System, every 10th-grader is required to create a three-minute homily for their favorite Gospel from the Bible, communicate about why they appreciated it, and give an explanation for the way it connects to their way of life.

Students picked a Gospel passage that had a special meaning for them. Some chose kindness, others about being a great friend, and a few about joy and happiness. Each passage showed how extraordinary humans can connect to the teachings of Jesus in their personal way.

The students had to work to write down or memorize a homily. This event took place in the school chapel during religion classes. They did not simply retell the Bible tale; they think and talk about how it relates to existence. Having to speak for at least three minutes made it a bit   difficult, but it additionally helped students get better at speaking in front of others.

Hunter Korte said, “I thought that the homilies were very fun and entertaining, and it gave me a glimpse of what a priest has to do every Sunday.”

The sophomore homilies at St. Mary are not just discussing Gospels, it is about how these stories can help students recognize the things taking place around everyone these days.

Lanie Fearon putting on the purple vestments to start presenting his homily on Dec. 11, 2023. COURTESY OF JAYDEN CARRILLO

Jayden Carrillo is a sophomore at St. Mary High School in Paducah.


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Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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