Terrific Time in Tucson!

I had the most wonderful weekend in Tucson, AZ, speaking at their catechetical conference Co-Workers in the Vineyard.

  • First, it was wonderful because my wife, Joanne, was able to travel with me for once and we got a chance to visit with her sister, nieces, and god-daughter.
  • Second, it was wonderful because we got to see Bishop Gerald Kicanas who hired me right out of college to teach at the high school seminary almost 30 years ago! (see pic below) He is a brillant and holy man and I am proud to call him a friend and mentor.

  • Third, it was wonderful to meet so many great people but especially a gentleman named Joseph Michael Enos (BTW, my son’s name is Michale Joseph!), a Native American who told me that he is using my book, Practice Makes Catholic, to teach the Catholic faith on the Reservation! What a thrill it was for me to learn that! (see pic below) He spoke to me about how he is striving to restore a sense of reverence for the sacred among his people.

  • Fourth, it was wonderful because, as I was telling a few folks I had met about my Dad’s Pharmacy, a gentleman named Gene Gawlik (I thought I recognized his name) told me he worked for my Dad in the drug store back in the 50s when he was a high school student! I asked him if he had a relative who taught at St. Ignatius College Prep in the 1970s and he said that he was one and the same! I never had him as a teacher but I recall him being on staff. (see pic below)

  • Fifth, it was wonderful to spend some time with Carole Eipers who was the Director of the Office for Catechesis in the Archdiocese of Chicago back when I worked there (1997-2002). Another amazing person I can call friend and mentor. (bummed out that I forgot to take a pic at our lunch)
  • Finally, it was a wonderful experience because I met so many great catechetical ministers! I did a workshop on the Catechist’s Toolbox for about 75 folks and then did one on Practice Makes Catholic for about 200 folks!

Thanks to everyone in Tucson for making this such a great weekend!

About Joe Paprocki 2751 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.

4 Comments on Terrific Time in Tucson!

  1. You are a great speaker and undoubtedly an awesome catechist. I enjoyed helping out at your second presentation. I’ve had a chance to read some of each of the four books available at the conference and find them much more engaging than what I currently use with my teens. Good luck and God Bless!

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