Howdy and How ya Doin?

I had a wonderful weekend meeting with about 450 catechists in Chicago (How ya doin?) and Austin, Texas (Howdy!)!

At the Chicago Catechetical Conference on Friday, I spoke to a group of about 200 (mostly Catholic school teachers) about 5 steps to dramatically increase their students’ Bible IQ.  I then jumped on a plane and flew to Austin, Texas to do a couple of workshops (about 125 at each one) on the Language of Mystery – bringing catechesis and liturgy together. It was wonderful to meet and speak with so many dedicated catechetical ministers! So a great big HOWDY to all the good folks I met in Austin and a great big HOW YA DOIN to all the great Chicago folks I met on Friday.

P.S.  FYI, the How Ya Doin is kind of a southside Chicago thing. When I was a teenager, the pastor asked me to greet the bishop when his car pulled up at the rectory on the day of confirmation. As I stood there, I realized I didn’t know what to call the bishop: your excellency? your majesty? your immenseness? As I stood there panicking, the car pulled up to a stop and the bishop got out. I extended my hand and out came the only greeting I knew: HOW YA DOIN?

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. I’d be willing to bet that “how ya doin” was the most genuine greeting that Bishop had gotten in a while.
    Hope you have a “wicked” good day and get some rest after all your travels.

  2. Maura, the bishop was totally unfazed by my greeting! It reminds me of what my brother Tom (he’s an auxiliary bishop here in Chicago) says about doing Confirmations on the southside. He finds it delightfully refreshing to hear kids say, “And also whichoo” when he says, “Peace be with you!”

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