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Contributor Bios



Homiletic Contributors

Deacon Hal Belcher, PhD

Deacon Hal Beclher serves as Lay Pastoral Ministry Program Associate Director for Dayton and the Northern Region. He earned his PhD in Education and Curriculum Instruction from the University of Toledo and served as a Catholic school principal in Carey, Toledo, and Sidney, Ohio, and as Superintendent of the Minster Local Schools in Minster, Ohio. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toledo, Wright State University and Bowling Green State University. Deacon Hal is a 1995 graduate of the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program and was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 2001. He is past president of the National Deacons Institute of Continuing Education (NDICE) and has served on the Permanent Deacon Advisory Council and the Diocesan Clergy Review Board for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Deacon Hal is assigned to St. Augustine parish in Minster, Ohio and lives in Celina with his wife, Sharon.


Richard L. Eslinger

Dick is the Professor of Worship and Homiletics at United Theological Seminary in Trotwood, Ohio. A clergy member of the West Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, he has served on the faculty of United Seminary for ten years, recently concluding a three and one-half year tenure as Academic Dean. He is a seafood-loving native of Baltimore, and a graduate of the University of Maryland (philosophy) and of the Boston University School of Theology and Graduate School (doctorate in systematic theology). Dick has been a faculty member at Duke Divinity School, Wesley Theological Seminary, Vancouver School of Theology, Loyola Institute of Theology (Chicago), Aquinas Institute of Theology (St. Louis), and The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mt. St. Mary Seminary of the West, in adjunct or fulltime capacities. His books on preaching include A New Hearing: Living Options in Homiletic Method; Intersections: Post-Critical Studies in Preaching; Narrative and Imagination: Preaching the Worlds that Shape Us; and Pitfalls in Preaching, along with numerous articles. His latest book on preaching is a sequel to A New Hearing entitled The Web of Preaching.

Dick is a member of the Academy of Homiletics and the North American Association for the Catechumenate. He is a former member of CATH-the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics. In addition to teaching, his background includes campus ministry, national worship office staff in preaching, and pastorates in Boston, the Pacific Northwest, southern Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.



Rev. Jeffrey Kemper

Fr. Kemper is a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the pastor of St. John the Baptist in Harrison, Ohio since 2008. Fr. Kemper served on the faculty of The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary's Seminary for 17 years as Director of Liturgy, Associate Professor of Sacramental Theology, Dean of the Seminary and Academic Dean. He served as an adjunct professor of liturgy in the Distance Learning Program of the Aquinas Institute in St. Louis and a visiting professor for the summer sessions at St. John's University, Collegeville. Fr. Kemper has been a member of the Priests' Council and College of Consultors for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and has been involved in Project Rachel. He is presently a member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. He has written for Assembly, Liturgical Ministry, and The Topical Encyclopedia of Christian Worship. Fr. Kemper holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from the Athenaeum of Ohio, an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Theology (Liturgical Studies) from the University of Notre Dame.



Rev. Tom Mannebach

Fr. Mannebach is a presbyter of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He grew up in metropolitan Chicago, and attended Miami University (Oxford, Ohio). He graduated in 1986 with a B.S. in Business Administration. He worked in marketing and sales in Cincinnati, Ohio for several years before entering the Athenaeum of Ohio seminary division. He earned his M.Div. in 1999, the year of his priestly ordination. He has since ministered in rural parishes in the archdiocese, and now pastors at the Church of the Holy Redeemer, a Roman Catholic community of 630 families located in New Bremen, Ohio. He serves the Archdiocese as Dean of the St. Mary's Deanery in the northern counties of the Archdiocese.



Dr. Susan Fleming McGurgan

Dr. McGurgan is the Director of the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Athenaeum of Ohio in Cincinnati. She holds a degree in History from Oklahoma State University and completed three years of graduate work in Ancient History and Classics at the University of Cincinnati. She earned an M.A. in Religion from the Athenaeum of Ohio and a Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Il.

In addition to administrative duties, she teaches Church History in the LPMP program and preaching classes in the permanent diaconate program. She is a member of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics and the Academy of Homiletics.



Rev. James Schmitmeyer

From 1990-2000, Fr. Schmitmeyer served as the pastor of two rural parishes in the northern part of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, an area predominantly German and French Catholic. Agriculture and small factories provide the primary sources of income.

Fr. Schmitmeyer served as Instructor in Homiletics and Director of Liturgy at Mt. St. Mary Seminary in Cincinnati from 1985-1990. He holds a degree in Scripture from the Athenaeum and degrees in Speech from Purdue and Northwestern Universities. His articles have appeared in numerous popular and professional publications and he is a regular presenter at preaching workshops and institutes, including the Preaching Institute at the Athenaeum.

He is the author of The Words of Worship: Presiding and Preaching at the Rites (Alba House, 1988) and A Calendar of Care: Seasonal Reflections of a Country Pastor (LTP, 1999). Fr. Schmitmeyer is currently serving the Diocese of Amarillo. As of September 1, 2011, he will be pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Vega, Texas and St. Hyacinth Church in Amarillo, Texas. Vega is a small ranching community 30 miles west of Amarillo and St. Hyacinth's is a suburban parish on the west side of Amarillo. Fr. Schmitmeyer's hobbies include breaking quarter horses and creative writing. He currently serves as pastor of two parishes in Texas.



David J. Shea

Unfulfilled in Their Hearing: Critical Issues in the Sunday Homily

David J. Shea was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 1998 and serves at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Anderson Township on the east side of Cincinnati. He is the Assistant Professor of Homiletics at the Athenaeum of Ohio - Mount St. Mary's Seminary. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Management, an M.A. in Religion from the Athenaeum of Ohio, and a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri. David joined the seminary faculty in 2002 after a thirty year career in business where he held various sales and marketing management positions. He is a member of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics (CATH) and the Academy of Homiletics. David has been married to Jan for 42 years. He enjoys photography, travel, baseball, time with friends, family and especially with his three grandchildren-Aidan, Liam, and Isis.

David recently published a booklet based on his three years of research on the unmet needs of the Sunday homily. His book, Unfulfilled in Their Hearing: Critical Issues in the Sunday Homily, is available from St. Anthony Messenger Press. See more information at catalog.americancatholic.org/.



P. Del Staigers

Rev. P. Del Staigers is a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati since 1987. He served as Assistant Professor of Homiletics at the Athenaeum of Ohio from 1991-2000. After his term at the Athenaeum, he pastored a cluster of three parishes in Dayton: Our Lady of Mercy, Queen of Martyrs and Corpus Christi Church. He is currently pastor of St. Veronica Church on the far east side of Cincinnati.

He is past President of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics (CATH), where he continues to hold membership, as well as continuing membership with the Academy of Homiletics. He holds a B.A. from the Pontifical College Josephinum, the M.Div., and M.A. in Theology from the Athenaeum, an M.A. in Theology, and a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching, both from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri. He is co-founder of this preaching web site and former director of the Athenaeum Preaching Institute.



Scripture Exegesis Contributors

Rev. Tim Schehr

Fr. Schehr is a native of Cincinnati and a professor of biblical studies at the Athenaeum of Ohio. His seminary work began in 1978 when he returned from graduate studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He also earned a Ph.D. from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Areas of special interest to Fr. Schehr are: the history of the English Bible; the translation of biblical books; and the interpretation of biblical narrative. He has presented papers on such topics at various conferences.

He contributes commentary on the bible for St Anthony Messenger Press and The Catholic Telegraph. He has also recorded presentations for Sacred Heart Radio, including the popular Biblical Impressions.



Sr. Betty Jane Lillie, S.C.

Dr. Betty Jane Lillie, S.C. is a Professor of Biblical Studies at the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a member of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Her areas of specialization are Old Testament, Intertestamental Period, and New Testament. Her degrees include a Ph.D. from Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, an M.A. in Theology and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, and a B.S.Ed. and a B.A. from The College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. She writes a Scripture column for the Catholic Telegraph for each week of every third month. She was Vice-President and President of the Eastern Great Lakes Region of The Society for Biblical Literature, and is an Active Member of The Catholic Biblical Association of America.



Dr. Terrance Callan

Terrance Callan is Professor of Biblical Studies and Dean of Special Studies at the Athenaeum of Ohio. He earned a BA in theology from Gonzaga University and an MPhil and PhD in religious studies (New Testament) from Yale University. He taught biblical studies at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1975-80, served as Director of Religious Education at St. Clement Parish in Cincinnati, 1980-83, and has been a member of the Athenaeum faculty since 1983. He is author of a number of articles and books, including Forgetting the Root: The Emergence of Christianity from Judaism (1986), The Origins of Christian Faith (1994) and Dying and Rising with Christ: The Theology of Paul the Apostle (2006).

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