Ups and Downs

Some weeks, I feel like being a catechist is the greatest gift on earth and that I have influenced the lives of young people in profoundly significant ways. Other weeks, I feel like I’m completely inadequate and that I’m wasting my breath. Suffice it to say, there are ups and downs to being a catechist. What’s your greatest joy in being a catechist? What is the greatest challenge you face as a catechist?

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. Joy:
    Sharing Christ & our holy faith with the children, and being able to see from their faces that they’re getting something from it.
    Touching the lives of the children

    Trying to teach when they would rather pay attention to anything but the material and won’t sit still (or anything resembling sitting still).

  2. Joy: When asking a question and you get more than the ‘I get it’ response.
    Challenge: Parents not taking the kids to Mass, yet it is important for the kids to make First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.

  3. Michelle, I think most catechists are frustrated with the lack of Mass attendance. I often tell catechists about my mother’s experience. Niether of her parents were churchgoers, yet at the age of 12, she converted to Catholicism, went on to raise 9 children in the Catholic faith, and today, at the age of 79, continues to attend daily Mass! Have faith…the Spirit is in control.

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