As Our Online Retreat Wraps Up: THANK YOU!

As our online retreat for catechists winds down, I’d like to take this opportunity to send out a great big THANK YOU to all of you who participated and made it such a success!

Over these past 7 weeks, we have formed an online community of catechists, dedicated to deepening our spirituality so that we may follow Jesus more closely and invite others to do the same. While it is a “virtual” community, it is very real: we share a bond that has brought us together to strengthen one another on this catechetical journey.

Throughout this retreat we have heard from literally hundreds of catechists from dozens of countries around the world. Some of you participated silently and others shared their thoughts openly. It was an inspiration to reflect on each of your insights and it was a comfort to know that we have been journeying together, praying for one another along the way.

Please do take a moment to respond to the survey to the right, sharing your thoughts about this retreat experience so that I can learn and grow from it and serve you more effectively as time goes on.

In addition to thanking all of you for your participation, please join me in thanking some people behind the scenes:

  • Colleen Fahey and Dominic Yonto for their filming expertise
  • Carrie Freyer for her guidance and strategic planning
  • Vinita Wright Hampton for her counsel
  • Lynnette Mathys for technical assistance
  • Theresa Acheson for marketing research
  • Steve Connor for support along the way
  • all of Loyola Press for the opportunity

And most of all, thank you, Lord, for walking with us on our journey and for permitting us the opportunity to serve you as catechists and to bring others closer to your love and mercy.


About Joe Paprocki 2736 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

13 Comments on As Our Online Retreat Wraps Up: THANK YOU!

  1. Joe, thanks again for the opportunity to participate in the catechist online retreat. It was great to learn from others and to recharge! I’ll be teaching a class of high school seniors (or possibly a mix of juniors and seniors). All of the students I will have are confirmed and unfortunately, for many parents, this means that all formal religious education is finished. So, I will have a small group of students. I’m looking for resources for curriculum. I haven’t been really excited about what my DRE has provided for me. I do have some choice as to what I use and what I teach. I’m just really looking for something that will be a good addition to the faith base they already have, to help them go out into the world to confidently practice their faith, while being exposed to people of others faiths and beliefs. I know I’m asking for alot. Maybe some really great advice. My own son will be in this class, so alot of emotion is behind my request. As a teacher/parent we want to send off young people with all the “best tools” for life. So, if you have any ideas at all for me, I’d really appreciate hearing from you. Thank you so much. Nancy

    • HI Nancy and thanks for your kind words about the retreat. Let me know what you are using first and then I can offer some suggestions (and we’ll see if some other folks have suggestions too).

    • Wow, Nancy, how fortunate your group of teens are to have someone who is so excited about sharing the best of herself and our Catholic faith with them. Here are two websites that I have used to provide topics for great conversation starters about how our faith applies to the lives of teens:

      Also remember that your own Baptism and Confirmation blessed you with the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit that will help you as you prepare for and facilitate your group sessions.

      Wishing you God’s continues blessings,

  2. Profound thanks once again to you Joe for moderating such a wonderful online retreat. And profound thanks to God for giving us all the comfort and hope of knowing that we are not in this mission alone. And many thanks to all who participated. I, too, enjoyed reading everyone’s posted comments. They were very inspirational, to say the least. I plan on referring to them for a long time to come.

    Thanks again! And God bless!

    P.S. – Please enlighten me on the “AMDG” at the end of your last post. Thanks.

    • Henry, you’re so right about how great it is to know we’re not alone. The sharing on this retreat was indeed inspirational. AMDG stands for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam which means “For the Greater Glory of God” – this is the Jesuit motto. I like to remember it whenever I complete something, remembering that all we do is for God’s glory, not for our own.

  3. Hi Joe,
    This retreat looks great, however I just found out about it today.
    Will you keep it on the site? Hope you will.
    I was at one of your presentations in Atlanta, GA
    You are an absolute wonder….always remembering AMDG…
    Thanks for all you are doing to help all catechists.

    • Eva, thanks! The nice thing about an online retreat is that they don’t go away! You can go through it at your own pace. It began on June 8 if I’m not mistaken. Enjoy! -joe

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been a catechist for a number of years and your program was really helpful. It helped me to put some things in order, shined new light on things that were becoming “routine” and helped me to pick out things I need to work on (and also solutions). I can’t wait for school to start so I can put all this knowledge into practice. God bless your work, Mary Walsh

  5. Thanks for your time & effort offering this to us 🙂 It was a great experience. Lots of food for thought. Can’t wait till next years. LOL

  6. Hi Joe….I am so sorry I am getting back with my comments so late….I’ve just brought Dad home from the hospital and have just returned to work…..any prayers are greatly appreciated.

    The online retreat was wonderful….your talks were very inspirational as was all the comments from the participants. What a great resource of the Catholic faith we have in all of these folks….God bless them all for their generous spirits and giving of themselves.

    Thank you, too, for all the hard work you and your staff has put into this retreat. I have been singing your praises and hopefully more folks will participate if you do this again.

    Thank you for bringing me closer to Our Lord.

    • Karen, thanks for the kind words about the retreat. I pray that your Dad’s health is good and that your return to work is smooth!

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