Holy Week, the Triduum, and Easter—Free PowerPoint Presentation

Holy Week PowerPoint presentation by Joe Paprocki

Whether it’s with a deep breath, a soft prayer, or a slight push, there are things we do to get ready. These final touches, and many others, are examples of our personal preparedness, and it is just as important to prepare and ready ourselves as it is to experience. Today I’m offering a way to […]

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A Creative Way to Look Up Scripture Verses

fortune cookie

Do you remember learning how to locate passages in the Bible? Those of us who teach religious education to children realize that we have to teach this every year. We must create opportunities in class for kids to find Scripture verses on their own. One day when I realized we would have a short class, […]

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Rest in Peace Catechist Len Astrowski

For a number of years, I served as a catechist at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Evergreen Park under the direction of Arlene Astrowski, the Director of Religious Education (now retired). It is with great sadness that I pass along the news that her husband, Len, passed away recently. I had the pleasure and privilege […]

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Faith Formation for Children and Families with Special Needs

Last month, I posted about the arrival of Adaptive Finding God (grades 1–8), the foremost program of its kind, offering faith formation for children with special needs. I’m happy and proud to share this video with you that describes what Adaptive Finding God is all about!

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Feasting While Fasting

word "fasting" on empty plate

When I was little, my mother would give up all sweets during Lent and Advent. As a dutiful Catholic child, I did as well. This practice led to many school snack times and birthday parties during which I would humbly decline the offer of cookies, cupcakes, and candy—careful not to be like the hypocrites who […]

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Sacraments and Stories: Reasons to Celebrate

church oils

I really enjoy teaching my students about the sacraments. After all, the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Jesus Christ through the sacraments. How could I not enjoy teaching them? In fact, I like to teach my kids that they don’t “do” the sacraments, they celebrate them! This can be a challenge when teaching the […]

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When Things Don’t Go as Planned

chalk and eraser on ledge

Last time I wrote, I shared my plan for a class on Jesus as a child in the Temple, mission, and the Examen. This was not my most successful class. Attendance was lower than usual, which seemed like it might make for a quieter session, but the young people were full of questions that derailed […]

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Final Installment of Families Living Faith at St. Jude, New Lenox

mother reading Bible with daughter

Last month, I posted on two occasions about a unique approach to faith formation at St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, IL, which honors the role of parents as their children’s primary catechists. In short, the parents and kids gather once per month at the parish at which time the kids are taught a lesson by catechists […]

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Lent Is Just Days Away!

40 Ideas for 40 Days

Ash Wednesday is February 18 this year which, according to my calculations, is only 12 days away! Once again, I am both proud and happy to offer you a number of valuable resources to assist you in your work as a catechist during the season of Lent. Here are just a few: 7 Ways to […]

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Holy Thursday’s Hidden Graces

"Our temptation in times of spiritual dryness is to seek any opportunity to make it go away. In our efforts to avoid these moments, we may miss the hidden gifts and opportunities to grow and mature in the spiritual life." - quote on background of dry land

On Holy Thursday Jesus explains to his disciples that he will be leaving them: Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, “Where I am going, you cannot come,” so now I say it to you. (John 13:33) These are hard words […]

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