Online Retreat for Catechists: The Spirituality of the Catechist

Beginning on Monday, June 8, 2009, I invite you to join in an Online Retreat for Catechists that I will be hosting right here at Catechist’s Journey!

19121169This will be an opportunity for you to spend some time this summer, reflecting (at your own convenience and in the comfort of your own home) on the spirituality of the catechist. It will be an opportunity for you to share thoughts and join in online discussion with catechists from all over the world about our unique spirituality as catechists. How will it work?

  • First of all, IT’S FREE!
  • The online retreat will be available right here at beginning Monday, June 8, 2009.
  • The first week, June 8, will simply be an introduction and overview of where we are headed in the retreat.
  • For the following 6 weeks (June 15 through July 20), I will post each Monday, focusing on the following themes that represent 6 characteristics of the spirituality of the catechist as outlined in the Guide for Catechists, published by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in 1993 (section II, 6-10):
    • An Openness to God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)
    • An Openness to the Church
    • An Openness to the World
    • A Coherence and Authenticity of Life
    • Missionary Zeal
    • Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Each week’s installment will include:
    • a brief video (of me!) providing an overview of the theme we are focusing on
    • a post that develops the theme a little further and shares a personal anectdote from my teaching experience that relates to the theme
    • reflection questions and suggested Scripture passages for reflection
    • suggested spiritual exercises to practice in the ensuing days
    • an invitation to post comments and interact with fellow catechists/retreatants
  • on the first day of each week, you’re invited to view the brief video, read and reflect on the post and the questions/suggestions, and then return to Catechists Journey, hopefully each day for a few minutes, to share your own thoughts and to read/comment on what others are saying. THIS EXCHANGE OF THOUGHTS WILL BE ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ASPECTS OF THE RETREAT.

For most catechists, summer is a time to renew ourselves and take a bit of a break from the grind of our teaching assignments. What better way to renew your spirit this summer than to join with catechists from all over the world, reflecting on the spirituality of the catechist?

Spread the word! If you’re a catechetical leader, please forward this post to your catechists and to your fellow DREs/CREs in neighboring parishes. If you’re a catechist, be sure to tell your catechetical leader about it and let your fellow catechists know.

I look forward to “getting away” with you this summer!

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. Joe, this is awesome!! Thank you for setting this up. I’ll definitely spread the word around here and on Twitter for those that might be interested in my Twitterverse!

  2. Joe, I am looking forward to this experience. I sw you speak at our Daec and your presentation on understanding the Mass was fabulous. I am encouraging all our catechists to take part in this online program. Am I to understand correctly there is no registration you just show up?

    GGod Bless, Rebecca

    • Rebecca, thanks for the kind words…I enjoyed visiting Iowa! Thanks also for letting people know about the retreat. Correct, no registration…just visit the blog!

  3. Joe, looking forward to it. I will pass the word to my collegues and catechists! I am going to be out of the country for several weeks during the retreat, but I’m assuming I will be able to access it on the blog when I return. Is that correct? Thanks for all you do, you are a blessing!

    • Robbie, thanks. Yes, the retreat will be the essence of my blog for the summer so you’ll be able to access it whenever is convenient for you. Safe travel!

  4. This sounds interesting. Thank you for sharing this. I will add to my calendar for the next 6 weeks.

  5. As usual Joe, you seem to post things right when I need them. I come back from vacation right before you start the online retreat and was just thinking I wish there was something relating to my faith formation that I could jump into when I come back. Perfect timing and I look forward to the interaction. I’ll pass the word as well.

  6. Do we need to register ?

    Is there any sort of completion certificate to pass on to our parish, as Continuing Ed or catechist enrichment , since it is an on-line program ?

    Looking forward to spending time at catechist journey


    • Hi Anne. No registration is necessary. I don’t have any kind of completion certificate to offer since I have no way of verifying that people have spent a certain amount of time on the retreat. I look forward to journeying with you and our fellow catechists!

  7. Hi Joe! I am one of your silent fan. I am a catechist from Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento Ca. I teach Building Faith Formation for students who needed the basic faith with different age levels ranging from 7 to 14 years old. A very challenging class because of the number of students we have. We usually have 20 t0 25 and some just drop in basis which we cannot turn away. Keeping up with them is stressful at times but we manage, I wish we have more time with them. So, I am very excited and can’t wait for this to start. Your website has help me a lot of times when my mind went blank. You’re such an inspiration. Thank you and God Bless

    • Evelyn, thanks for the kind words…you’re silent no more! Sounds like you have a very challenging ministry but you are forging ahead with such a great attitude and dedication. I look forward to retreating with you and our fellow catechists!

  8. Looking forward to a little coffee and a little time alone in the mornings. I just finished a pretty rough year and am in need of recharging.

  9. Hi Joe,
    We met again at the NCCL in Dearborn, MI.
    (you did the session in the ballroom)
    I shared this with my DRE and she forwarded
    it to all our catechists. I am excited about that.
    I will be signing up later today to get started.

  10. I am Al and I have been a catechist for more than 50 years.
    My spiritual growth is somewhere between nascent and getting ready
    for the end. I am addicted to teaching and see my mentor as Paul, my patron.
    My prayer life is centered in the Liturgy of the Hours. Looking forward to this.

  11. Thanks, to Chris Johnston of University of Chicago and my co- catechhist at St. Margaret Mary School in Chicago. He gave me this valuable information.

    Worlwide catechists’ communication. I start viewing and participating today with all informed catechist of this online retreat and as this will go for six more weeks.

    As of Trinity Sunday, yesterday I reflect that the first overview is our openness
    to the Blessed Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
    First during the day as we open our eyes and minds and thoughts, FIRST communication is GOD, the almighty (the Blessed Trinity).

    Let us always keep in touch. communicate the Living Word.

    Catechist Nina Viloria, Grade 3 Blest are We. St. Margaret Mary School, CREC or CCD.

  12. Thank you, thank you for this wonderful opportunity. I’m starting a day late but I know that I will reap great benefits from the course and so will my class. Blessings to all, Mary

  13. Thank you Joe, I am new at this, so this is really wonderful. Thank you for putting such a beautiful retreat together.

  14. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity, I am relatively new at this so I hope to learn alot and implement in the best way I can in Karachi, Pakistan.

  15. I just wanted to say that I think this is a wonderful program.
    The fact that we can share our love for God over the internet just gives me such hope.
    This is where we should be.
    With all of the other things that we are able to access it’s nice to know this is where we can go to be with our family!

    Thank you,

    Carol Houseman

  16. Hi, Joe!
    15th Sunday in Ordinary time, participating worldwide retreating on Sundays, I keep myself busy reading the Scripture as set by the Church’s weekly bulletin or newspaper.
    As this week’s Scripture reading we are all on the same ideas of the Old Testatment,
    and the New Testament: Genesis, Matthew, and St. Paul’s Epistle. All about we as baptized Christians are charged by our Lord Jesus Christ to continue teaching or preaching to all the peoples on earth the Living Word, Jesus Christ, life with Him and in Him and of course by following the fundamental Commandments of His FAther in Heaven.
    NIna Viloria, CPA
    Gr. 3 Catechist at St. Margaret Mary School, Chicago Public School students

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