The Parent Panel for Parent Meetings

April 17, 2017 Joe Paprocki 2

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 […]

Melting Those “Stone Faces” at Parent Meetings

February 20, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

When I am asked to present at a parent meeting (First Reconciliation or First Eucharist), I am often met by a lot of what I call “stone faces”—a look on the parents’ faces that says they would rather be anywhere else but here! Don’t get me wrong: the folks are cordial, just not very emotive, and I remind myself that most are coming straight from work or a long day at home. A big part […]

Why Confess? Ideas for the Sacrament of Reconciliation Parent Meeting

January 11, 2017 Special Contributor 0

“But why do I have to tell my sins to a priest? Can’t I just go directly to God?” This time it’s the Confirmation students asking the question. And yes, you can pray directly to God, and God has already forgiven our sins through the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. But perhaps we have missed the point of sacramental Reconciliation. As catechetical leaders, it is our responsibility to meet people where they are and […]

Start-of-the-Year Parent Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

July 22, 2015 Joe Paprocki 4

As you plan for the new catechetical year, schedule a start-of-the-year parent gathering. This is a great opportunity to meet parents and encourage them in their role as their children’s first catechist. To help you, I’m offering a free PowerPoint presentation, complete with suggested script, for hosting a parent gathering. The message it conveys is that faith formation isn’t just another activity; it’s a way of life. Support the domestic church with this encouraging presentation […]

Faith Formation for Parents: Bruce’s Story

April 30, 2015 Eric Gurash 7

As he sat down, he leaned to the mom next to him and whispered, “Don’t ask any questions; I want to get out of here before eight!” This was Bruce*, a 40-something professional man whose daughter Denise was enrolled in our Confirmation program. The setting was a parent session offered before the children’s sacramental preparation began. Bruce rarely went to church, had little to no spiritual life, and no real knowledge of his Catholic faith […]

Need a Speaker for First Communion Parent Meeting? Try the Parents!

April 24, 2015 Joe Paprocki 6

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of facilitating a First Communion Parents Meeting at St. Cajetan Parish in Chicago. While I did do some presenting about a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the primary speakers for the evening were—drum roll please—PARENTS! The Director of Religious Education, Deb Breakey, recruited four parents of children who recently received First Communion to comprise a panel, sharing their experiences of walking with their children through […]

We’re Doing This Apprenticeship Thing All Wrong!

January 12, 2015 Joe Paprocki 6

One of the most exciting and challenging ideas that the General Directory for Catechesis brought us is the concept of apprenticeship. This comprehensive formation includes more than instruction: it is an apprenticeship of the entire Christian life. (67) The whole idea, of course, is that those seeking to enter more fully into discipleship are to be mentored into the Christian way of life. This is the basis of our Catholic practice of providing sponsors for […]

First Reconciliation Parent Session

October 24, 2014 Joe Paprocki 6

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of facilitating the First Reconciliation Parent Meeting at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Evergreen Park, IL, where I served as a catechist for a number of years. I had been the presenter at this meeting several times in the past, however, I was not comfortable just delivering a talk in the church to the parents who sat passively throughout. I worked with the DRE, Lori Kennedy, to create a […]

Dry Run for REP Kick Off Nite

September 10, 2014 Joe Paprocki 4

Last evening, I got together with Deb, the DRE at St. Cajetan, to do a “dry run” in preparation for next Tuesday’s Kick-Off for the Religious Education program. We had many logistics to go over such as the sound system, the lighting, the video, the music and so on. In particular, I realized that I have to practice my timing with the songs/videos that I’ll be projecting throughout the prayer service…it’s as if I’m the […]

Joe’s PowerPoints for Catechist Formation and Parent Meetings

September 11, 2013 Joe Paprocki 0

In my travels around the country, I have many people ask if they can get a hold of my PowerPoint presentations to use for their own parish, whether it be catechist formation or parent meetings. Occasionally, I am able to share but it’s impossible for me to respond to the many requests I receive. Now, however, you can acquire FOUR of my PowerPoint presentations (scripts included) to use in whatever setting you need them for! […]