National Catholic Bible Conference Misleading

As a catechist, I have often participated in the Chicago Catechetical Conference. Naturally, when I hear of such a conference, I can safely assume that it is sponsored by a Church agency in Chicago which of course it is (the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry).

Likewise, when I attend the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership, I can safely assume that it is sponsored by a national catechetical organization which of course it is: NCCL.

So imagine my surprise when I attended the “National Catholic Bible Conference” held at Dominican University in River Forest (a Chicago suburb) on Friday only to find out that it was a showcase for one publisher (really one guy) to showcase his Bible program!

I think that’s very presumptuous to use a title like that to attract people by giving an air of Church authority to an event that it does not have or deserve that authority. When I go to a conference, I want to hear a variety of experts enlighten me about various topics. If I want to go to a publisher’s showcase, I’ll go to a publisher’s showcase.

It just goes to show, fellow catechists, that when something is labeled “Catholic” (events, websites, Bibles) we can’t always assume that it is sponsored by an agency of the Catholic Church but is often someone’s personal agenda or a sales tactic.

p.s. In a future post, I’ll tell you more about the product being pushed at this so-called conference. It’s attracting attention but it has its problems.

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

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