About Joe Paprocki
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press. He has more than 30 years of experience in ministry and has taught at many different levels. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller The Catechist’s Toolbox and Under the Influence of Jesus.

How to Be a Prayer Coach

It’s no coincidence that some of the best coaches and managers in sports are former players themselves. They understand what it’s like to be on the court, field, or ice. In fact, some of the best coaches and managers are those who themselves struggled during their playing years. As a result of their struggles, they studied the game more intensively, seeking to learn every nuance that might assist them since their own pure talent was marginal. […]

Growing as a Catechist: A Self-Evaluation

Take the opportunity to evaluate yourself as a catechist over the course of this past year with the help of Growing as a Catechist: A Self-Evaluation Based on Seven Critical Tools from The Catechist’s Toolbox. This short evaluation asks you to evaluate yourself using a five-point scale on the seven critical tools and then invites deeper reflection with several open-ended questions. Share your evaluation with your catechetical leader, or discuss it with a group of […]

How Will You Grow This Coming Year?

I’m enjoying watching all the new life bursting forth from the earth this spring—a reminder that nature seeks to grow! As part of God’s creation, it is in our nature to grow as well. Unlike plant life, however, we can be tempted to ignore that natural tendency. Such is the nature of the deadly sin of sloth: it is not just laziness; it is spiritual laziness. Sloth causes us to be distracted from that which […]

A Catechist Aide Just For You!

I know most catechists appreciate having an aide to assist them, especially when that aide can act as a “co-catechist” of sorts, jumping in from time to time to offer support, insight, and perspective on the lesson being taught. This is especially helpful for catechists who teach younger children whose attention spans can be so short! With that in mind, Loyola Press is happy to provide those of you teaching First Eucharist and First Reconciliation […]

Will Robots Replace Catechists? Can They?

During the lifetime of some people who are reading this blog, artificial intelligence will be an everyday reality. Already, robotics are manufacturing and driving cars; the only difference is that they do not have a “face.” Technology in all forms is a daily growing force in our world. Which poses a question: Can a robot serve as a catechist? Without hesitation, I would say no. A catechist is first and foremost a disciple of Jesus […]

Evangelization Is Our Deepest Identity

One of the most exciting thrusts in the world of catechesis in the past several decades has been the emergence of the importance of evangelization. In fact, catechesis and evangelization are so closely related that the General Directory for Catechesis tells us that “in pastoral practice, it is not always easy to define the boundaries of these activities.” (62) In other words, there is not only overlap between catechesis and evangelization, but there is also […]

Faithfully Adapting Scripture Stories for Children

It is not unusual for catechists and publishers of textbooks to adapt Scripture stories for children. Let’s face it: the Bible was not written for seven-year-olds! When adapting Scripture stories for children, however, it is imperative that we remain faithful to Sacred Scripture and not change the essence of the stories we are relating. For example, until I was an adult, I thought that, in the story of Cain and Abel, Cain’s offering was not […]

Make No Mistake: Disciples Make Disciples!

OK, I know! The Holy Spirit makes disciples! But the point that I want to make is that the Holy Spirit makes disciples through other disciples. I bristle at promotions for catechetical resources (books or videos) that claim to do it all on their own and promise to make it “so easy” for catechists that all the catechist needs to do is, in essence, get out of the way, so that the resource can work […]

Using Facebook Live for Evangelization and Catechesis

The New Evangelization encourages us to proclaim the Gospel with new ardor, methods, and expression. One feature now at our fingertips is Facebook Live, which allows the sharing of live video with followers and friends on Facebook. Gone are the days when churches had to spend large amounts of money to broadcast something live such as the worship service, the pastor’s homily, a concert, or a presentation. Now, Facebook Live and other similar online tools enable anyone […]

File Away for Next Lent: Neighborhood Way of the Cross

I would have shared this with you earlier, but I didn’t hear about it until Lent was over! So, file this one away for next Lent. I recently heard about a parish that did the Stations of the Cross during Lent through their neighborhood, arranging to stop at 14 pre-selected homes where each Station was prayed. I think this is a wonderful idea and a way to get families involved in a traditional Lenten practice. […]

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