Using PowerPoint

I’m going to try something different tonight. I’ve put together a Powerpoint presentation on Church history. It’s the first time I’ll be using this technology in this particular setting (a weekly religious education session).

If you don’t know what a Powerpoint presentation is, here is a brief explanation:

PowerPoint is a graphics program by Microsoft that allows you to produce a professional-looking presentation made up of a series of “slides.” The slide presentation, which can contain graphics and images, is prepared on your computer and then, through an LCD projector, is projected onto a screen. This type of slide presentation can be useful for providing an outline and highlights of your lesson as a visual aid. Likewise, you can design a meditation using a PowerPoint presentation, inviting your participants to reflect on inspirational images set to reflective music. 

I want to emphasize that I would not expect catechists in general to feel that they have to prepare Powerpoint presentations! Most folks do not have the time to put something like this together. Because catechesis is my full-time job, I have the opportunity to do so. For the very same reason, I plan to make this Powerpoint presentation available for downloading for those who might want to use it. I just have to check with the web folks to see how this is best done. Stay tuned.

I also put together a note-taking sheet for the young people to use during the presentation so that they are actively engaged and not just passively watching. The sheet utilizes fill-in spaces so that the young people need to pay attention to the presentation and find the correct info to record on their sheet.

After the presentation (which, all told, could last about 45 minutes), we’ll move into our prayer experience for the evening, reflecting on how the same Holy Spirit that has been present to the Church throughout history is present to each of us in our everyday lives.


About Joe Paprocki 2739 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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