Phenomenal Philly!

PhillyI had the privilege of being the keynote speaker at the Philadelphia Catholic Life Congress this past Saturday, November 14, and it was a phenomenal experience!

  • From the moment I entered Archbishop Carroll High School where the event was held, I could feel a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation for the day.
  • People were happily scurrying about, making last minute preparations for the conference, all while smiling and greeting each other with great affection.
  • I was extended such warm hospitality and made to feel at home.
  • The opening liturgy was perhaps the most amazing liturgy I’ve participated in for some time, primarily because of the incredible music provided by several combined choirs of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Even the auxiliary bishop who presided at the Mass couldn’t help but clap his hands during the rousing African-American spiritual that was sung following communion!
  • I delivered my keynote to an audience of about 1000! What was disconcerting was that the spotlights shining in my eyes were so bright, I literally could not see the audience! I could tell they were there, however, from their lively interaction and responses!
  • I spoke on the topic of: “Feast Your Eyes on God’s Transforming Word!” focusing on how our unique Catholic vision, which is characterized by a sense of sacramentality, a commitment to community, a respect for the dignity of human life and a commitment to social justice, a reverence for tradtion, and a disposition to faith and hope and not despair, holds the key to transforming hearts and minds.
  • I was blown away by the numerous folks who stopped to talk to me afterwards, either in the hallways or at the Loyola Press display. I met so many wonderful people who shared their passion and enthusiasm for the catechetical ministry!
  • Hats off to the folks running the show (at least the ones with whom I had contact): Augustine Carrillo, Mary Ann Harrington, Ann Menna, and Connie Scharff.
  • Best wishes to all the good folks of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who are working so hard and succeeding at transforming all things in Christ!
About Joe Paprocki 2773 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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