About Joe Paprocki
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

Bringing an Ignatian Flavor to V Encuentro

It is no secret that the largest growing demographic in the U.S. Church is our Latino/Hispanic brothers and sisters. In order to better serve the needs of this vital and fast-growing segment of our Church family, the U.S. Bishops occasionally convene a process known as Encuentro—a multi-year process of ecclesial reflection and action that invites all Catholics in the United States to intense missionary activity, consultation, leadership development, and identification of best ministerial practices in […]

What’s the Big Idea?

I once took a course in homiletics (the art of delivering homilies and liturgical reflections). The professor often said, “Unless you can summarize the goal of your homily in one sentence, you have no business being in the pulpit.” He was serious about that. When each of us got up to deliver a practice homily, we were asked to tell the class our main goal in a single sentence. If we couldn’t, the professor made us […]

Discipleship Is a Relationship—Catechetical Sunday 2017

This Sunday, September 17, 2017, is Catechetical Sunday, with the theme of “Living as Missionary Disciples.” I’d like to take this time to offer my gratitude and affirmation for all catechists who have responded to the call to serve in this heroic vocation and this splendid ministry! For many of us, the notion of discipleship is still a bit of a mystery. What exactly does it mean to be a missionary disciple? It sounds like a […]

Rosary Craft Activities

October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and October and May are the two months especially devoted to Mary. Plan a special activity for either of these months with the help of our free Rosary Craft Activities. Invite families to string their own rosaries, and encourage them to make this treasured prayer a family event. Or work on a poster with children to help them as they learn to pray the […]

A Good Vocation Video

I began my career in ministry back in 1981, teaching in a high-school seminary in Chicago. It was always my quest to find a good video on priestly vocations to show to the young men in my classes; however the options were usually slim. Since that time, there have been a number of videos produced on the topic of priestly vocations—some better than others—but they still tend to exhibit one of the following shortcomings: They […]

On the Road to Sainthood

For many of us, the stories of the saints—while inspiring and often dramatic—always seemed to be about people from far away places who lived long, long ago. Paintings and statues of saints clearly depicted them as belonging to another century, if not another millennium. That’s why it is so exciting these days to be able to see color photographs and even video of saints such as St. Pope John Paul II and Saint Teresa of […]

Connecting with Your Fellow Catechists

An important strategy for personal growth and success is to network with others. When my son Mike was bogged down working a job that didn’t always fulfill him as he had hoped, I encouraged him to network with clients, which he did. One of those connections led to a new job that he absolutely loves. As catechists, we benefit from networking with one another! As we all gear up for the start of the catechetical […]

10 Not-to-Miss Posts from Our Summer

I hope the summer months have been a time of renewal for you, and I hope you were fortunate enough to have some time off to enjoy the warmth and sunshine that this time of the year blesses us with. While I was able to take some time off, we kept the wheels turning here at Catechist’s Journey with daily posts designed to speak to a variety of issues and challenges that we face in the […]

Engaging Young People with Active Learning Strategies

Professional educators know that, for learning to be effective, it needs to be an active experience. Active learning ensures that learners actively engage and participate in the learning process by doing something other than simply listening and then, of course, thinking about what they are doing. Active learning is learner-centered as opposed to teacher-centered. I talk about this in my recent post: Shining the Spotlight on Those We Teach. What this means for us as […]

Interviewing Your Catechists

Recently, I received the following message from Martha: Hello, I am searching for a catechist interview. I am a new DRE and I am wondering if that is a wise idea. I will appreciate your feedback. The quick response is “Yes,” it is a good idea to interview your catechists, not just when you are recruiting them, but also at the beginning and end of each year. I recognize that this may be impossible for […]

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