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.

Silence is Golden

January 12, 2007 Joe Paprocki 4

I mentioned the other day that for the beginning of Advent, I invited the kids to pray in silence at the start of class. A friend of mine who used to be a 6th grade catechist remarked, “Oh, that’s the way I prayed with them almost all of the time.” I thought that was very refreshing. We sometimes think of prayer as a space that we have to fill up with words, when what we […]

Memorization and Catechesis

January 11, 2007 Joe Paprocki 1

I mentioned recently that I will be checking to see if my students have memorized (taken to heart) certain prayers outlined in the parish curriculum. I grew up at a time when memorization in catechesis had fallen upon hard times. Sure, I learned the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, but not much else. As a result, I grew up deprived of quick access to a major part of our Catholic Tradition. I recall […]

What's This Obsession with FUN?

January 10, 2007 Joe Paprocki 2

As I surf around various web pages and blogs where catechists are in discussion with one another, I can’t help but notice an obsession that many catechists have with the idea of making their classes FUN. Now, before you start thinking that I’m some kind of sourpuss, let me explain that I know what catechists are talking about. They are concerned when kids are bored and rightly so. However, I think that our goal is […]

Assessment in Catechesis, Part 4

January 9, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

Authentic assessment is exactly what the name implies: it is genuine and real. Authentic assessment is performance-based: learners put into action what they’ve been learning about. Beyond being able to speak or write about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, learners must have opportunities to live out the call to discipleship. Service Experiences – provide suggestions for specific ways that your learners can put their faith into practice serving others, either individually […]

Assessment in Catechesis, Part 3

January 8, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

Informal assessment asks the question: What can you do with what you know and how do you do it?   Ongoing – Include opportunities to assess your participants’ grasp of concepts by observing their participation in discussions, group work, prayer/reflection, and service to others  Specific Tasks – Include specific opportunities to evaluate verbal (oral and written) and non-verbal (drawn, crafted, etc) expressions and responses. These need not be quizzes or tests but may simply be […]

The Evangelizing Community at Mass

January 8, 2007 Joe Paprocki 1

Here is something that I thought you would be interested in: The Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Assocation invites you to the next session of Catholic Speakers Online: The Evangelizing Community at Mass 2:00 – 3:00 pm (EST), January 25, 2007 (EST), Presenter: Rev. Anthony F. Krisak Director of Training and Online Services at the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association Washington, D.C. How can we help every Catholic at Mass to participate fully, consciously, and actively?  How […]

Assessment in Catechesis, Part 2

January 7, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

A formal assessment asks the question: What do you know/understand?  This type of assessment, accomplished in either written or oral forms, models Jesus’ attempts to assess his disciples’ understanding of his teaching and actions. When using quizzes or tests, keep the following in mind: Make sure that the items included on your quizzes or tests are consistent with the learning outcomes for your lesson. Provide your learners with opportunities for self-assessment. In other words, ask […]

Assessment in Catechesis, Part 1

January 6, 2007 Joe Paprocki 2

How do we measure effectiveness in catechesis? How do we know whether or not we have achieved our learning outcomes? We may feel as though we’ve had a very good session. One catechist I know judges success on whether or not the participants “had fun.”  That’s not a very reliable method of assessing whether or not someone has been further equipped to live as a disciple of Jesus. In catechesis, we are constantly assessing whether […]

The Kids Can Pray

January 6, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

I think that kids have a natural ability to pray and that they especially like reflective prayer. When Patti (my co-catechist) and I lead the young people in a guided reflection, they become very peaceful and seem to relish the time alone with their thoughts and with God. After one of our reflections, I told the young people that another word for reflective prayer is meditation. They were pretty impressed that they were learning how […]

Traditional Prayers – "Family Heirlooms"

January 3, 2007 Joe Paprocki 2

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be taking aside each student and checking to see if he or she has taken to heart (memorized) a certain number of traditional Catholic prayers as spelled out by the parish curriculum. Before I do that, however, I plan to explain to the young people the importance and the value of knowing traditional prayers. Kids sometimes think that memorizing is a waste of time. But taking to heart […]

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