The Catechist’s Backpack Is Here!

Joe Paprocki with Catechist's Backpack book

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book, The Catechist’s Backpack: Spiritual Essentials for the Journey, co-written with Julianne Stanz, is now available from Loyola Press!

Here is an excerpt:

Backpacking is a fun, healthy, and physically challenging way to enjoy a journey of discovery. Of course, anyone setting forth on a backpacking journey knows that there are many things to take into consideration and certain necessities that need to be packed. In a similar way, catechists are engaged in a stimulating and challenging faith journey of discovery. In order to thrive on this journey, we need to carry some key spiritual resources in our catechist’s backpack. These spiritual resources are identified and explored in the Guide for Catechists (1993). In a nutshell, a catechist’s spirituality is marked by these six characteristics:

  1. Radical reliance on God: an abundant supply of water
  2. Commitment to the Church: adequate food and shelter
  3. Openness to the world: a topographical map
  4. Consistency and authenticity: the right clothing and footwear
  5. Missionary zeal: fuel and matches
  6. Devotion to Mary and the saints: flashlights and batteries

In each chapter of The Catechist’s Backpack, we’ll delve more deeply into one of these items for the journey, reflect on it, and apply it to our own lives and our own vocation as catechists. These six characteristics encapsulate what all catechists have or seek to have in our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit. Just as a backpacker needs essential resources, a healthy spiritual life also requires essential resources. Because it’s true that you can’t give what you don’t have, catechists need these spiritual resources if we hope to share them with others and prepare them for the journey.

The Catechist's Backpack book coverPurchase 10 or more copies of this book and get them for $5 each! Or mix and match with the other books in the Toolbox series to take advantage of the same offer. Details here.

About Joe Paprocki 2739 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

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