Vegas and Springfield on my Mind

I haven’t had much Internet access for a couple of days, but I wanted to say hi and let you all know that I am having a fantastic time at the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership in Vegas. I’ll have pics and some thoughts by Thursday when I get home.

Also, I’m happy to share that my brother Tom has been named the Bishop of Springfield, Il, which is about 3 hours from Chicago!

We are proud of him and it will be nice to still have him close to home! Congrats, Tom, and may God be with you!

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 – how exciting for your family to have your brother named Bishop of Springfield. It was pretty broadly reported here in the Chicago area. Congratulations to him.

    As for you……and Vegas….I’m sure you are blocking out all of those sin city surroundings and prepping all of your materials for your webinar next week 😉

    Travel Safe!!!

    • Greg, thanks. When it comes to Vegas, I enjoy all the hubbub for a few days. After that, the excess wears on you!

  2. Joe,
    We are excited about your brother becoming our bishop. My prayers for you in your work serving our Lord and to your brother in his working serving our Lord.
    Looking forward to tomorrow night’s session.
    God bless, Connie

  3. i was soooo happy when i heard of the wonderful blessing your brother tom
    i will finally get to meet him at the chicago prayer breakfast on april 30th

  4. Joe,
    Congrats on your brother’s appointment. What a rare treat for a family!
    I enjoyed the webinar tonight. Look forward to more in the future. Do you have plans on doing one on ‘finding good resources’/lesson-planning? It seems that Catholic religion textbooks (we use one designed for schools) are painfully bad…to the point of being almost unusable. I think I’d do much better if they just gave me a religious-themed coloring book!
    Any websites you recommend for ideas/content (games, songs, prayers, activities, printable sheets, etc.)??
    God bless you!

    • Michael, thanks for the kind words about my brother’s appointment to Springfield. It is a wonderful treat for our family. Thanks also for the suggestion for future webinars on finding good resources. Have you visited the Activity Finder at the Finding God Website (Loyola Press)? Good place to start looking for variety.

  5. Thanks, Joe. I teach 3rd/4th graders and the textbook is just too texty-yet-nebulous for a once-a-week class. I’m all about giving them concrete activities/lessons on concrete concepts.

  6. Lol…it seems we’re somewhat of a mind on most resources out there.
    I defer to your much greater experience (and efforts!), but having taught middle school and high school freshman Religion in Catholic schools…and now teaching 3rd-5th grade catechism, I humbly find the texts unusable. Especially for weekly catechism among uncatechized (and usu. non-churchgoing) kids, most with immigrant parents with limited English…I need simple, clear concepts and activities that simplify the message and communicate it in fun and colorful and memorable and engaging ways. Surely with ~100,000 Catholic catechists in the United States, there are tons of resources for such things!!???
    I’m not 8 or 14 anymore, but when I look at the kids and at these books all I can think is: no wonder kids drift from the Church and either go ‘agnostic’ or find more engaging Protestant denominations. We have such Good News, such a riveting story, and so rich a tradition – why aren’t we making it more accessible to kids (and their parents!)?!

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