Publications and Presentations

Our president, Dr. Karla J. Bellinger, is an active presenter as well as a writer. Here are some of her recent publications and presentations:


“Ten Ways to Make it Stick: The Importance of Connection for Preaching” chapter in “To All the World: Preaching and the New Evangelization” Liturgical Press (expected Fall-Winter, 2015).

Connecting Pulpit and Pew: Breaking Open the Conversation about Catholic Preaching, Liturgical Press, May 2014.

“Catholic Women in Homiletical Leadership,” Homiletics, in peer-review.

“Would You Recommend It to a Friend? The Prickly (but Possible) Relationship between Homiletics Assessment and Customer Satisfaction Studies,” Paper presented for the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR), November 1, 2014.

“The Elephant in the Room: Catechetical Leaders Speak about the Sunday Homily,” Catechetical Leader, March 2014, vol 25, Number 2, 20-24. The Elephant in the Room

“To Be Young and Catholic in the United States: Finding Ways to Let the Holy Spirit Evangelize for You,” Momentum, November/December, 2013.

“And… How Is It Going? Preaching Assessment as a Difficult Conversation” white paper for the Academy of Homiletics conference “Preaching Difficult Conversations,” Louisville, KY, December, 2013. Academy of Homiletics Illustrations 2013

“Connecting with the Next Generation” in Do Not Quench the Spirit! Celebrating Fifty Years of Vatican II. Worship Works Series: Practical Guides for Liturgy, Alan Hommerding, ed. World Library Publications,  2013.

“Implementing the Vision of Vatican II: What is the Future of Preaching?” Seminary Journal, Vatican II, Winter 2012 issue.

“Vatican II: Connecting with the Next Generation,” AIM: Liturgy Resources, Fall, 2013.

“Making Real Connections,” Today’s Catholic Teacher, Nov/Dec, 2013.

“My Heart Burns within Me: Sunday Preaching and the Catechesis of Young People,” Catechetical Leader, May, 2013, found at:

“Unpacking the Complexities of the Homiletic Encounter,” presented to the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics (CATH) annual meeting, Chicago, IL, Nov. 2012.

Are You Talking to Me? A Study of Young Listeners’ Connection with Catholic Sunday Preaching. Thesis for Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching degree, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO, May 2012.

Are You Talking to Me? Homiletical Take-away as Theologia Prima: Paper presented to the Word and Worship seminar, North American Academy of Liturgy annual meeting, Montreal, Canada, January, 2012.

Innocence and Improvisation: Listening with Young Listeners for an Ecclesiology of Preaching: Paper presented to the Theology of Preaching seminar, Academy of Homiletics annual meeting, Austin TX, December, 2011.


“The Holy Spirit as Connector in Liturgical Preaching,”  Maronite Catholic National Convention, Cleveland, OH, July 2015.

Bogged Down or Bubbling with Joy: Building Relationships through the Liturgical Homily,” Keynote address for the Midwest Clergy Convention for the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, OH, April, 2015.

“10 Ways to Make Human Connection with Today’s Catholic Youth,” workshop for the National NCEA Convention, April, 2015, Orlando FL.

“Preaching Better: Words that Set Hearts on Fire,” Keynote address for the Deacon and Wives Convocation for the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, March, 2015.

“The Surprises of God,” Women’s Retreat, St. Rita Parish, Solon, OH, March 2015.

“Equipping Catholic Leaders to Preach the Gospel and Make it Stick,” Pittsburgh Diocesan Campus Ministry Convention, March 2015.

Monthly preaching since July, 2014 at, archived at

“To Be Young and Catholic in the U.S.” First Friday Club of Greater Akron, Akron, OH, November, 2014.

“Not Made to be Alone: How to Make Pastoral Connections with the People We Serve,” workshop for the  Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office, Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, November, 2014.

“Francis and Francis: Living into the Holy Joy of the Gospel,” Diocesan Lay Convocation, Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Center for Pastoral Leadership, Wickliffe, OH, October 24, 2014.

“Ten Ways to Make it Stick: The Importance of Connection for Preaching”
workshop session for “To All the World: Preaching and the New Evangelization” Preaching Conference, University of Notre Dame, June 27, 2014.

“Connecting Pulpit and Pew: What Can I Do?” breakout session; To Connect or to Bore? 5 Ways to Diagnose the Difference”  Quick Fire session; both at NCCL national conference, Saint Louis, MO, May, 2014.

“10 Ways to Make It Stick: The Importance of Connection for Preaching and Teaching,” NCEA National Convention, Pittsburgh, PA, April 22 and 23, 2014. NCEA 2014 10 Ways to Make it Stick Workshop summary

“Bogged Down or Bubbling with Joy: How Do We Connect the Message of the Gospel with Family Life?” St. Rita’s Parish, Solon, OH, April 10, 2014.

“Sunday Preaching with Young People: How Do We Connect?” workshop for the clergy track at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), Indianapolis, IN, November, 2013.

“Connecting with Young Adults,” two break-out sessions at the Cleveland Diocesan Evangelization Conference (St. Hilary Parish, Fairlawn, OH, Nov. 16, 2013).

“Like a Sponge in a Warm Ocean or Keeping Your Calm in the Turbulence of Ministry,” keynote address for the  Cleveland Diocesan Youth Ministers annual gathering, Cleveland, OH, Sept., 2013.

“Living into the Joy of St. Francis”  Women’s Evening of Reflection, St. Clarence parish, North Olmsted, OH;  also Women’s Overnight of Reflection, Sacred Heart of Jesus parish, Wadsworth, OH, May 2013.

“Are You Talking to Me? The Impact of Sunday Preaching on Today’s Catholic Youth,” presented for the National Conference for Catechetical Leaders (NCCL) annual conference, May, 2013, Cleveland OH.

“God the Divine Gardener,” L.I.G.H.T. program (Learning In God’s Holiness Together), April 7-8, 2013, St. Martin of Tours, Valley City, OH.

“10 Ways to Make Human Connection with Today’s Catholic Youth,” workshop for the national NCEA convention, April 2 and 3, 2013, Houston, TX. NCEA 2013 Workshop Handout

“Are You Talking to Me? Young People Speak about How to Connect with Them in Sunday Preaching,” district presentations in the Diocese of Cleveland: Summit North and South District, Sept. 2012; Wayne/Ashland Medina district, Jan. 2013, Cleveland SW suburban district, March 2013.

“My Heart Burns within Me: Sunday Preaching and the Catechesis of Young People,” Catechetical Leader, May, 2013, found at:

“The Gospel on an Index Card,” break-out session for the Cleveland Diocesan Youth Rally, Sept. 2012.

“The Visible Leads to the Invisible or Reflections Sparked by Abigail the Cat,” keynote address for Cleveland Diocesan Youth Ministers annual gathering, Sept. 2012.

“Preaching and the New Evangelization,” thesis results on youth and preaching in conversation with the Instrumentum Laboris for the bishops’ World Synod on Evangelization, private presentation for Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Sept. 2012.

“The Song of Courage,” commencement address for Our Lady of the Elms High School graduation, Akron, OH, June, 2012.

“Are You Talking to Me? A Study of Young Listeners’ Connection with Catholic Sunday Preaching” presentation at St. Mary’s Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, Cleveland, OH, April, 2012.

“Lions 10, Christians 0: The Martyrs’ Heroic Virtue for our Day,” Session 7 of the  Novena of Grace, Church of the Gesu, University Heights, OH, March, 2012.

“Planting Seeds of Religion,” Keynote address, St. Hilary Parish annual festival, Fairlawn, OH.  January, 2012.

“Love to Pray? So Can They,” January Thaw, diocesan catechetical workshop, Akron, OH, January, 2012.

“Preaching the Blues: Where is the God of Love in the Suffering of Life?” presented for St. Richards (cluster), North Olmsted, OH, January 2012.

Advocacy and Pastoral Care, Ecclesiology, Christology, Leadership I and II, Prayer and Worship, Community Life, Justice and Service, Adolescent Catechesis I and II training sessions:  Avenues Youth Minister Training for the Diocese of Cleveland (repeated often): February, 2003 – November, 2011.

“Student Retreat Leadership Training Day,” consultation with the theology department at  St. Joseph’s Academy, Rocky River, OH, September, 2011.

“Pitons, Carabiners, and the Surprise of God.” Theology on Tap, Cleveland, OH, May 2010.

“I Thirst,” Lenten Parish Mission, St. Matthias, Parma, OH, February, 2010.

“Stopping in the Chapel on a Snowy Afternoon or How to Handle Difficult Conversations,” Faculty Day of Reflection, Our Lady of the Elms High School, Akron, OH, February 12, 2010.

“12 Difficult Issues,” Lenten series, St. Augustine parish, Barberton, OH, March, 2009.

“Building Moral Muscles: Strength Training for Christian Discipleship” (3 part series), Alliance for Christian Education, St. Matthias, Parma, OH, October, 2010; Sacred Heart Adult Education, Wadsworth, OH, April, 2009; Grounds for Faith Young Adult Group, March, 2008.

“Reflections of a Gardener on Co-Workers in the Vineyard” (3 parts), Prayer for opening of the National Association of Lay Ministers (NALM) conference, Cleveland, OH June, 2006.

“Standing Firm in a Shifting World: Catholicism in Relation to World Religions” (3 part series), Wayne-Ashland-Medina Adult Education Confab. Brunswick, OH, Fall, 2005; added session 4, “Atheists, Agnostics and ‘Nones’, ” for Sacred Heart parish, March, 2013.

“Aliens with Antennae”; “Inter-generational Jesus”; “Stories of Courage, Heroes of Faith”: January Thaw, diocesan catechetical workshops, Akron OH, January of 2006, 2004, 2003, 2001.

HeroesCamp inter-generational Vacation Bible School program, 1996-2006. Director’s manual, five year curriculum; tested in eight parishes for ten years with several thousand participants.

Blog: (paused to write doctoral thesis in 2011 and have only intermittently posted since)