Christmas, er, CATECHESIS in Connecticut

I had the most wonderful day yesterday at the Religious Education Congress in Hartford, Connecticut! First, I was priveleged to do the keynote presentation. My topic was: “Do I Look Fat in This? Putting on Christ: A Perfect Fit” in which I explored the six tasks of catechesis (as outlined in the General Directory for Catechesis) that help us to put on Christ. I had the honor of meeting Archbishop Henry Mansell who attended my presentation and offered such generous affirmation aftewards. In referring to me, he said, “Joe is the brother of, or, I should say, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, the Bishop of Springfield, IL, is the brother of Joe!” I got a good laugh out of that because my brother Tom and I joke about that all the time!

I also had the joy of doing 2 workshops on Leading Prayer as a Catechist and both workshops were full of eager catechists who had so much of their own wisdom to share about the topic of leading prayer. It was truly an enriching experience.

Finally, I enjoyed dinner last evening with my colleague Mary Ellen Johnson from Loyola Press and Richard Drabik, the Multimedia Coordinator for the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation of the University of Dayton and Johnson  Romero, VLCFF Hispanic Initiative Coordinator/Course Technician for the same program. After a long day but rewarding day, it was nice to sit down with friends and colleagues and have a nice dinner and stimulating conversation.

Many thanks to Patricia Keck, the Assistant Director for the Office of Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT, for coordinating the entire event. Kudos and thanks also to Msgr. Michael Motta, the Director of the Office, Shawnee Baldwin, Archdiocesan Coordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Carlos Aedo, Archdiocesan Coordinator for Catechesis for Hispanics, B.J. Daly Horell, Archdiocesan Coordinator for the Catholic Biblical School, Mary Marsan, Archdiocesan Coordinator for RCIA, Adult Education, and Lay Ministry, and Shannon Perzan, Archdiocesan Coordinator for the Video Library. What a team!

Most of all, thanks to all my fellow catechists who came out in such great numbers to participate in a day of enrichment! Keep up the great work!

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. Happy to hear that you’ve been connecting with the U Dayton folks.
    Their online catechetical programs have become the standard for catechist and even ARE certification in our diocese.
    Hope you had a bit of time to enjoy the last bits of fall colors here in NE

    • Yes, Maura, the U Dayton program is an excellent resource being used by many dioceses for catechist formation and general adult faith formation, so I’m glad to be able to spread the word about it. I did indeed get to enjoy the vestiges of autumn colors in CT on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning! Quite lovely.

  2. Thanks for sharing your wonderful gift with us at the conference. I really enjoyed your topic and your workshop. You gave me some great ideas for my class. God bless.

    • You’re welcome, Virgen. I had a very good time in CT and came away very enriched from my interaction with all of you good folks!

  3. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us at the conference. I really enjoyed and learn a lot from your topic. You gave me wonderful ideas for my class. I can wait to use them with my kids. God bless you and your family.

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