About Me

Joe 2013 casualFirst and foremost, I am a catechist! I am presently serving at a parish in Evergreen Park, just outside of Chicago. I have been involved in the catechetical ministry for over 30 years.

When I was in high school, I wanted to become a teacher, and I really felt called to teach religion. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I served as catechists at our parish, and I enjoyed helping others learn about their Catholic faith in a way that was engaging and imaginative.

I went to Loyola University Chicago, where I studied theology and history and entered the secondary education program. I became (and continue to be) certified to teach social studies in grades 6 through 12. However, since day one, I have used my teaching skills to teach religion.

I began my professional teaching career as a religion teacher at a high school seminary in Chicago, where I taught for nine years while pursuing my master’s degree in pastoral studies at the Institute of Pastoral Studies (Loyola University Chicago).

When the school I was teaching at closed, I became a director of religious education and a pastoral associate at a parish on the southeast side of Chicago, where I served for seven years. I loved working with the catechists there and learned so much from them.

When a new pastor came along and decided he didn’t need a DRE, I moved on to the Office for Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Chicago. There I served as the consultant for catechist formation, working with my favorite people in the whole world: catechists! I had the opportunity of directing the faith-formation program for catechists, leading to their certification.

After five years at the Office for Catechesis, I had the opportunity to join up with Loyola Press to work on creative and cutting-edge catechetical resources. I have been here since 2002 and now serve as the National Consultant for Faith Formation.

Along the way, I have had the privilege of authoring a number of books, most notably The Bible Blueprint: A Catholic’s Guide to Understanding and Embracing God’s Word; Living the Mass: How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life; The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher; A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe; Practice Makes Catholic: Moving from a Learned Faith to a Lived Faith (all from Loyola Press).

Oh, by the way, I recently completed my Doctor of Ministry degree at St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein, Illinois. My wife and I have been married for 29 years and we have two grown children.

—Joe Paprocki

Contact Me

Perhaps there is something you wish to contact me about that you would prefer not to share with the entire universe. Maybe it’s a sensitive issue. Maybe it’s a confidential matter. Or maybe you just prefer communicating in a less public venue. Whatever the case, feel free to send me an e-mail, and I’ll do my best to respond to you promptly.

joe@catechistsjourney.com

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