Humor can evangelize. Why don’t priests use it well?

When Jesuit Father James Martin speaks to groups of college students, he often imitates a presider at Mass droning the Alleluia in a dull monotone, as if he were about to announce a tragedy instead of the good news. The routine elicits knowing laughter. We’ve all been at Masses where the gospel is proclaimed and the prayers recited with the enthusiasm of someone who just chewed a mouthful of dried beans.

There’s a long-standing attitude that religious services need to…

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