What’s Your New Year’s Catechetical Resolution?

January 2, 2014 Joe Paprocki 3

Happy New Year everyone!!! I thought it would be fun for us to make some catechetical New Year’s resolutions as we begin 2014! Mine is to incorporate more Catholic Social Teaching into my lessons. What’s yours? Here are some suggestions: devote more attention to lesson planning improve at handling discipline deepen my own knowledge of the Catholic faith incorporate more prayer into my sessions learn how to lead guided reflections use more technology in the […]

Recommended Reading

December 20, 2013 Joe Paprocki 4

As I was cleaning off my desk in preparation for the holidays, I came across an issue of Catechetical Leader Magazine that I had saved because it contained one of the best articles I’ve read all year. It’s by Matt Halbach, director of the St. Joseph Educational Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s titled New Pope, New Evangelization, New Return to Old (but Good) Ideas.” Matt makes an excellent point that, while the New Evangelization needs a […]

Reaching Out to Families – FREE Resources!

November 18, 2013 Joe Paprocki 0

One of the greatest challenges that catechetical leaders face is reaching out to parents and families. Loyola Press to the rescue! Here are a number of FREE resources to help you strengthen ties with the parents and families in your parish program. One of the huge benefits of using a program such as Finding God is that you have so many of these FREE resources at your fingertips! (Downloads require Adobe Reader. Click here to […]

The Excitement of a New Catechetical Year – And a New Parish!

August 19, 2013 Joe Paprocki 4

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow evening is the first catechist meeting of the year for the 2013-14 catechetical year! I will once again be teaching 6th grade (Finding God), however, I will be doing so at a new parish! I will now be at St. Cajetan Parish on the far southside of Chicago, about 5 minutes south of my home in Evergreen Park. With the retirement of Arlene Astrowski, the DRE at Most Holy […]

Help For “New” Catechetical Leaders: Through the Year with the DRE

July 25, 2013 Joe Paprocki 2

Back in the day, when I was a “baby” DRE (Director of Religious Education), I turned to a nifty book for help. It was written by Gail McKenna and it was titled Through the Year with the DRE: A Seasonal Guide for Christian Educators (Paulist Press). The book is long out of print, however, the idea stayed with me and inspired me to create a chart a few years ago outlining the “typical” responsibilities that […]

A Customer Spends the Day at Loyola Press (and Becomes a Friend!)

June 28, 2013 Joe Paprocki 2

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Patty Cadena, a catechetical leader from the Diocese of Oakland, CA, telling me that she and her husband would be vacationing in the Chicago area. She said she uses my books in her RCIA and asked if there was a chance that we could meet if she visited Loyola Press. Luckily, my schedule had me in Chicago all week so I told her they could […]

Grandparents and the Benignity of God

June 10, 2013 Joe Paprocki 6

Last week, I spent a few days in New Jersey with about 65 catechetical leaders, reflecting on the 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. Among the many wonderful people I was privileged to spend time with was Ron Pihokker, the Director of the Catechetical Office of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ. In particular, I was struck by how excited Ron is about the prospect of becoming a grandfather in August! He is SO looking forward to […]

Greetings from Cleveland!

May 22, 2013 Joe Paprocki 0

Greetings from the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) conference in Cleveland, OH! I’ve had a wonderful several days here meeting and chattting with so many wonderful catechetical ministers from all over the country. I had the privilege of doing a new product showcase for Loyola Press on Monday, helping LP to host a Diocesan Directors Luncheon on Tuesday, and presenting a breakout session today. In between, I had a chance to take in a […]

Chicago Catechetical Ministries Awards Banquet

May 15, 2013 Joe Paprocki 1

Last evening, I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministries Awards Banquet at the Drury Lane Theater in Oak Brook, IL. In particular, I had the honor of introducing my DRE, Arlene Astrowski, who was a recipient of one of the archdiocesan awards! There were over 600 people in attendance, mostly catechists and catechetical leaders along with many pastors and pastoral staff, to honor the efforts of numerous catechetical ministers in the […]

Having Students Set Goals – Developing New Habits

May 13, 2013 Joe Paprocki 4

I’ve been talking the last few posts about helping those we teach to develop new habits, inspired by a book titled The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. One of the things the author talks about is the importance of people taking ownership of the process of developing new habits, beginning with the notion of setting goals for themselves. By setting goals for yourself, you internalize motivation (as opposed to all of the motivation having […]

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