A Good Way for Catechists (or Anyone!) to Pray

The Prayer That Changes EverythingMany catechists are eager to deepen their own prayer life so that they in turn can help those they teach to do the same. I’d like to recommend an extremely helpful and valuable little book that just came out: A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer: Discovering the Power of St. Ignatius Loyola’s Examen. I read this book on the train the other day (yes, it’s that brief – 82 pages – that you can read it in one or two sittings!) and I found it to be one of the clearest descriptions of an adult way to pray – a form of prayer that is reflective and yet simple at the same time. Learning to pray the Examen can help catechists to teach reflective prayer to their own students. In particular, catechists in the RCIA and other adult catechetical settings will find this book (written by friend and colleague Jim Manney) to be a profoundly valuable tool in teaching  other adults how to pray.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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 www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Joe, by your prayers, teachings, readings, and books, a good source of spiritual insights and enrichment for all the catechist and evangelizers.

  2. I finished reading this yesterday and I am wanting to read St. Ignatius because of it. One disappointment – the apology of using the masculine pronoun when refering to God as “he/him”. God has been revealed to us as Father/Son – arent these “masculine”? so why the apology ? Its a good read nonethe less.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful recommendation – and for your invaluable and generous suggestions about every other aspect of the catechetical ministry as well. I have begun to read the book and it is everything you promised – lively, accessible and deep. Every year I give my 8th Grade Confirmation class a “Three Minute Assignment” (reprinted from Liguori Magazine 1991) as a suggested form of prayer – it is a very short form of the examen. This year we can go into it with much deeper insight as to why and how this is such a good way to pray.

  4. Joe,
    I am interested in purchasing the Six Weeks with the Bible but, I don’t know where to start. I am a life long Catholic that has never read the Bible. I was thinking of starting from the beginning with the book of Genesis, working through the Old Testament and then on to the New Testament. I cannot seem to get an answer from Loyola Press.
    Would you suggest this course of study or something different?
    Thank you in advance for your guidance.


    • Hi Greg and thanks for your question. First, I recommend that you read my book, The Bible Blueprint, to get a good understanding of how the Bible is put together and how Catholics interpret Scripture. Next, I suggest that you start with Exodus which is the central story of the Old Testament. After that, I suggest the Acts of the Apostles, which will give you a good flavor of the fervor of the early church. Follow that with Mark’s Gospel to get to know Jesus better. After that, you’ll have a good foundation for moving in any direction you choose, perhaps going back to Genesis and working through the OT as you suggested. If and when you choose to delve through the OT, I also recommend Jim Campbell’s book, Stories of the Old Testament, which will help you grasp the meaning of these often complex stories. I hope this provides you with a good plan for how to start. Let me know if this works for you and if you have any other questions.

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