Good News from the Substitute Catechist (Who Just Happens to be the DRE!)

March 22, 2014 Joe Paprocki 1

Last week, we missed our weekly session with our 6th graders since we were in Los Angeles for the annual Religious Education Congress. When we arrived back home, I received the following message from my DRE, Deb, who, along with another catechist, subbed for my class. I was so pleased and thrilled to get such a good report, especially the part where she explains that the kids were asking for/explaining their regular routine! Hi Joe, […]

An Introduction to Lent

February 24, 2014 Joe Paprocki 1

Tomorrow’s lesson is going to be an overview of the upcoming season of Lent which is just over a week away (Ash Wednesday is March 5)! For this lesson, I will be using my FREE Lent PowerPoint. As with the previous PowerPoints I’ve made available, this presentation includes a script (in Note Pages view) to assist you in effectively leading your students to a deeper understanding of this season. To download the Lent PowerPoint from authorSTREAM, […]

Tonight’s Session: 3 R’s – Recognizing, Respecting, and Revealing God’s Presence

February 18, 2014 Joe Paprocki 0

My lesson for this evening picks up where we left off last week as we learned about God’s presence in Solomon’s Temple, in the Eucharist, and in ourselves. Tonight, we focus on how we recognize God’s presence in the Sacraments, respect God’s presence in others (this is part of our safe environment program) and reveal God’s presence to others through works of mercy. Session 21: The 3 R’s Big Idea: We are called to Recognize, […]

A Lo-Tech Session; High on Props – David: Shepherd and King

January 22, 2014 Joe Paprocki 0

Last evening was thoroughly enjoyable and, for the most part, very effective, as we focused on David as shepherd and king who points the way to the Good Shepherd/Christ the King. I decided to give the technology a rest since I’ve been using PowerPoints and videos a lot in recent sessions. Instead, I went all out on props which the kids loved. 6th graders are very much into this kind of theatrics! Here is one […]

It Was the Quietest of Times, It Was the Noisiest of Times!

January 16, 2014 Joe Paprocki 2

Our session this past Tuesday (Jan. 14, 2014) was very enjoyable and was a study in contrasts. I actually began the session (after preliminary chit-chat and our opening prayer ritual) with a guided reflection in which I invited the young people to talk with Jesus about what they have learned in the first half of the year. The kids were amazingly quiet! It was a very prayerful experience and, in all, lasted about 15 minutes. You […]


January 14, 2014 Joe Paprocki 0

Here is my lesson plan for this evening! Tuesday, January 14, 2014 BIG IDEA: “Remember all my commands!” Scripture: Numbers 15:37-41 Learning Outcome: As a result of this session, students will be able to recall and articulate the major concepts covered in the first half of the year, especially the Ten Commandments Preliminaries/Engage (20 mins) As they enter, have the young people write down one thing they remember learning during the first half of the […]

Starting the 2nd Half of the Year by Reviewing the 1st Half

January 6, 2014 Joe Paprocki 8

After 2 weeks off for the Christmas holidays, religious education sessions are scheduled to be back in session tomorrow evening. Of course, we’re keeping an eye on the weather here in Chicago. Schools are closed today with a foot of snow on the ground and temps at -10 degrees (for a high!). Tomorrow it’s supposed to get up to a balmy zero degrees for a high! In the Book of Job, God responds to Job’s laments […]

Thank God for the Textbook!

December 18, 2013 Joe Paprocki 0

On pg. 40 of my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox, I mention that one of the top ten things that can go wrong for a catechist is “You’re done with your lesson and you still have 35 minutes to go!” Would you believe 50 minutes? That’s exactly what happened to me last night! We took our 6th graders to church for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and we were told to anticipate that it would take the […]

Summary of Session on Moses/Exodus (12/10/13)

December 12, 2013 Joe Paprocki 1

Tuesday’s session on Moses and the Exodus event was a very enriching experience! Unfortunately, we had 2 students absent, including the one who asked the great question last week about whether or not God was doing bad things by sending the plagues upon the Egyptians. I had hoped she would be present to benefit from our further exploration of the topic. We started by giving the kids a quiz on the first 3 commandments which […]

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