I have the wonderful opportunity to help many International Clergy achieve excellent communication skills. This includes everything from improving their pronunciation and teaching them the stress and intonation patterns of North American English, to learning American idioms and slang, improving comprehension, and increasing vocabulary.
We work on presentation skills, particularly as they relate to delivering homilies that are clear, engaging, motivating, and dynamic. Learning to use appropriate pausing and stress patterns can transform a boring homily that may put parisioners to sleep to one that is inspirational, energetic, and memorable!
Written communication is yet another area that can be addressed. I have found that many of the priests have difficulty determining the appropriateness of salutations or greetings and closings in letters and email. Their intentions are to express genuine warmth and sincerity, but they need to choose their words carefully to convey the appropriate meaning. In particular, the use of the word “love” should be used judiciously.
Greetings and closings can be formal, informal, or casual. The following are some tips to consider when writing emails or letters:
For greetings, “My loving teacher” woud not be appropriate; it sounds too intimate and this expression is reserved for family members (My loving daughter) or intimate partners (My loving husband). More appropriate greetings would be:
Dear Teacher, Dear (person’s name)
Hello (person’s name), Hi (person’s name), Greetings, The person’s name only (John,)
Hey (person’s name); this greeting has become more popular in emails and phone conversations. It would be best to avoid this greeting.
For closings of a letter, “With love” or “love” are again closings that are reserved for intimate or very close relations and are not appropriate in a social or work-related situation. Here is a collection of proper choices for closings:
Kind regards, With kind personal regards, Warm regards, With warm regards, Best wishes, With best wishes, Sincerely, Respectfully yours
My best, I wish you the best, All the best, Best regards, With blessings, Have a blessed day, Bless you, Fondly, (reserved for situations when you know the person well and are conveying warm feelings), Fraternally, May God bless you
You can still express warmth and caring by using the above closing remarks. Again, the use of “love” conveys the correct emotion, but it may be interpreted in a different manner; it is best to avoid it.
With warm regards,