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 www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Well I’ve been involved in catechesis for (gulp!) just a bit more than 1/2 my life now. I began the year after I graduated from college, when I was asked to help with a 2nd 1st communion class that my mom was teaching. I thought “sure I can share a classroom with mom. She’ll be doing most of the work.” That wasn’t exactly how it worked out. I ended up having 3 different groups of 10 enthusiastic little boys and girls for 30 minutes each month before or after they rotated to other activities. In many ways it is still a blur, but the one incident still sticks in my mind 22 years later and still motivates me as a catechist and DRE.
    There was one child in the program who had not yet been baptized and the priest in charge of the program decided that he would capitalize on a teachable moment and baptize that child at our first gathering of the year so all of the other children could see a baptism (which was the subject of the first class). During my time with the children I told them that the sacraments bring Jesus to us in a special way and explained to them that in Baptism We are filled with God’s grace and made us a special part of his family. Something about what I said (and truly I don’t remember the exact words I used) struck the imagination of one little girl who got really excited. She wanted to know if when she saw her friend being baptized if she would really be able to see Jesus coming to her friend. I tried to explain how the water was a symbol but what she kept on asking was: Would she see Jesus working? Was he really going to be there? Would she really be able to see her friend become part of God’s family

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