Getting Ready for Week 2

Tonight is week 2 for religious education and a big chunk of the time will be devoted to an opening prayer service in the Church. Of course, this provides an opportunity to teach the young people about reverence. In many ways, reverence is a lost art in our society. Simply put, reverence means recognition of the sacred. In the church, we gather in a sacred space, aware of the presence of the Living God. One might say, “But isn’t God present everywhere? Why behave differently when we are in Church?” To that I would reply, “Yes, God is present everywhere and that means that the reverence we practice in church, especially in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (the sacramental presence of Jesus), is the same reverence that we should show to our neighbors and to all of God’s creation when we leave the church.”

In other words, reverence is a virtue (actually a Gift of the Holy Spirit) that we are called to practice at all times, not just in church. If we behave differently in church than we do elsewhere, we don’t “fix” that hypocrisy by being casual in church but by being reverent in the world!

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. Hey Joe!
    I am enjoying this site immensely and using lost of the helpful tools. I have had my first “real” session last night and all went well. Any suggestions for third graders? Any ideas are gladly welcome!!
    Thanks and God bless!
    Linda McMullen in Cascade, Iowa

  2. Hey Linda! Thanks for jumping in! I’m glad your first real session went well…that’s encouraging isn’t it? 3rd graders are developing a variety of skills rapidly and they’re also able to handle more complex concepts. This means that you can bring in a wide variety of activities to engage them: puzzles, crosswords, games, etc. They’re also getting much better at reading. At the same time, they’re eager to learn through their senses so activities and crafts are always a good idea. They need good solid directions and they love to ask questions. It should be a wonderful year full of experiences for you! Keep in touch.

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