SOHcatho, « Service d'Optimisation des Homélies - Catholique » offers consulting services to all ministers charged with preaching - priests, deacons, seminarians and appointed lay persons. This organization aims to reach the largest audience especially the young and those searching for faith by optimizing oral communication and public speaking.
As Sunday homilies offer the principal and sometimes the only opportunity to hear about the Word of God and the Church, they are vital to meet the huge expectations from regular church-members as well as from occasional visitors.
Yet the art is a difficult one… Too many homilies fail to reach their objective, sometimes merely because of form. While form without content is useless, content with no form is like “a lamp kept under a basket instead of on a stand” (Matt 5:15).
Next to the content, the form requires adequate preparation. In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis exhorts ministers to spend a significant amount of time weekly getting ready for this task, alone and within their communities, even at the expense of other assignments. “The homily can actually be an intense experience of the Spirit, a constant source of renewal and growth”. (EG 135). And the obvious importance of the content of evangelization must not overshadow the importance of its ways and means” (EG156).
SOHcatho has been operating under the approval of the local Church hierarchy since 2007 in France and since 2012 in Belgium. In France, over 1000 preachers have been trained by SOHCatho, and it has received support from the French Conference of Catholic Bishops