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.

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. […]

Free Prayer Cards Inspired by the Letters of Pope Francis

As we near the end of the catechetical year, you might be thinking how you might mark the occasion with a special keepsake for your students. Encourage children to keep up a practice of prayer throughout the summer break by giving them a prayer card (or three!), free for you to download this month. Inspired by the letters of Pope Francis in the book Dear Pope Francis, the cards each display artwork drawn by children […]

Giving Something Besides Money for First Communion

I’ve posted about this previously: when it comes to giving a child a gift to commemorate his or her reception of First Holy Communion, I propose that we do better than just putting money in a card! Of course, children are conditioned today to equate receiving money with the highest expression of generosity, and I realize that, by offering them some other gift, they may come to the conclusion that such a giver is “cheap.” Perhaps […]

A Different Approach for Letters to the Bishop for Confirmation

During a trip I made last month to Jacksonville, FL, I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch with my friend and colleague Sean Williams (to my left) and two wonderful people, Deacon Jerry Turkowski (DRE) and Monina Mulleague (CRE), of San Juan del Rio Catholic Church in Jacksonville. Deacon Jerry and Monina recently adopted the Finding God program for their very sizeable parish and, over lunch, we discussed various aspects of evangelizing catechesis, and we […]

The Parent Panel for Parent Meetings

A few years ago, I posted about an approach I’ve been taking for parent sacramental prep meetings, particularly First Eucharist. Basically, I’ve been asking the catechetical leader to recruit four or five parents from the previous year’s First Eucharist class to form a panel that I can interview about their experience of bringing their children to the sacraments. I have had nothing but great success with this format as these parents eagerly give witness to […]

Easter Blessings

As we celebrate this Easter Sunday, I extend my sincerest best wishes and prayers to all who enjoy the privilege of proclaiming the Resurrection of Jesus in the catechetical ministry. I hope you enjoy this special Easter reflection, part of our Arts & Faith series. For the transcript, an activity idea, and a related Ignatian reflection on this video, click here.

Visiting Churches on Holy Thursday

As we enter into the three days we know as the Triduum—beginning with Holy Thursday—many Catholics will once again take part in an ancient ritual of visiting churches (the Visita Iglesia) after the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper—a local “mini-pilgrimage.” The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper ends with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, which is then placed in reposition (on a special altar) so that the faithful may remain in vigil until […]

Evangelization Starts Here: A Welcoming Community

I hear people say all the time that they wish more young families would attend Mass regularly. That’s not going to happen unless regular attendees are more welcoming to those young families who venture forth to test the waters of our parishes. For too long, Catholics have arrived/settled into their pews in church in a manner similar to passengers boarding a certain airline: once you get your seat, you try not to make eye-contact with […]

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