Paul and Barnabas – Pioneer Catechists

This Sunday’s first reading (Acts 14:21-27) is an inspiration for all of us catechists. Paul and Barnabas, those pioneer catechists, exude such great zeal and energy, travelling from place to place and proclaiming the word of God. Here’s the line I find most inspiring:

They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the kingdom of God.”

Paul and Barnabas did not go about promising that life would be a rose garden. Rather, they offered the only true source of sustenance for life’s journey: the Risen Christ. All of us undergo hardships. As catechists, we can strengthen the spirits of those we teach and exhort them to persevere in faith.

May we take inspiration from Paul and Barnabas to be zealous catechists! 

About Joe Paprocki 2701 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

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