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Barbara & Jim Moroney

“With guidance from the Foundation, we have the opportunity to help strengthen the preaching of priests, deacons and seminarians, so they’ll flourish in their ministry.”

The Institute for Homiletics at the University of Dallas is a partnership of the Diocese of Dallas, The Catholic Foundation, and UD.

Its focus is the art of preaching. But the origin of the Institute is a lunch that Jim Moroney, former publisher of The Dallas Morning News, shared with Father Joshua Whitfield in 2019. After Jim offered a comment about the quality of preaching in Catholic churches, Father Whitfield inspired him to take steps to improve it.

So began Jim’s campaign, with Barbara’s encouragement, to raise $7.5 million to create an institute that inspires and improves the preaching skills of Catholic clergy.

Announced in March of 2021, but officially launched in September with the hiring of Executive Director Dr. Karla Bellinger, the Institute is the only one of its kind in the United States. It has been supported by The Bishop Tschoepe Institute of Homiletics and Communications Fund of The Catholic Foundation, and The Homiletics Fund of The Catholic Foundation established by Moroney. The initial “class” includes priests and deacons from the Dallas Diocese, and also from the Diocese of Victoria, Texas, and the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“This is really about connecting the people in the pulpit to the people in the pew. Its impact can bring more Catholics closer to an encounter with the Living God, in Dallas and beyond.”