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!