An Extraordinary Day at NCCL

Today was a most extraordinary day at the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership in Atlanta!

First, the NCCL is a phenomenal opportunity to meet and mingle with some of the most innovative and successful catechetical minds (and hearts) in the United States. It is also a tight-knit group (all 600-700 of us!) so each year’s conference is like a family reunion. It is so wonderful to see and chat with peoplethat I never get to see anywhere else while also making so many new acquaintances. I also got to meet many of you who are regular readers of my blog! Talk about networking! Here I am pictured with Stephen Binz, Scripture Scholar and prolific author, whose work I’ve admired for years.

Second, I was honored to deliver a couple of presentations on Servant Leadership to about 150 parish catechetical and diocesan leaders this afternoon. There was so much wisdom in that room and I was so thrilled to be able to tap into it andto facilitate the sharing. I drew my thoughts from a very good book titled Servant Leadership Models for Your Parish, by Dan Ebener (Paulist Press). Thanks to all who participated. For those who attended, if you would like a copy of my Powerpoint, please send an email to me at and I’ll send it to you.

Third, I enjoyed a wonderful company dinner with a number of folks from Loyola Press. It’s a pleasure to socialize with people that you work closely with and work very hard with day in and day out. Nice to “let our hair down” so to speak.

Finally, if that wasn’t enough, I sat in on an unnoficial gathering of catechetical folks who are into blogging, Tweeting, podcasting, etc. This event, given the title of a “Tweet-Up” was organized by Jonathan Sullivan, the Diocesan Catechetical Director of Springfield, IL, who is one of the leading voices on using social media to promote parish programs. It was nice to meet and mingle with people who are exploring cutting edge technology for proclaiming the Gospel.

O my goodness, I’m exhausted…but what a happy exhaustion! Looking forward to another day at the Conference tomorrow!

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. Forgot to mention, the day began with a fantastic keynote from Fr. Jim Martin about the importance of humor in spirituality/matters of faith. Great job, Jim! We DO need more joy in our ministry!

  2. Hi Joe,
    I was in Atlanta over the weekend for NACMP on scholarship – no funds for NCCL so I returned home Monday morning. I saw you at a distance at liturgy Sunday evening and had hoped to say hello at some point. Your presentation on Servant Leadership sounds fantastic (no surprise) I wish I could have been in the room. I hope that you get some time to enjoy the gathering – I loved your description: like a family reunion. So true! It is a wonderful opportunity to connect and reconnect. Thanks for all that you do for us and give to us in this blessed work we share.

    • Hi Susan. So sorry I missed you. I recall you telling me that you had no funds for attending NCCL. Let’s pray that next year’s budget grows at least enough to allow that! I have indeed had a lot of time to enjoy the gathering. Good folks!

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