Misery Loves Company

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about my frustration with regards to not finding the “secret formula” to attracting adults to faith formation. I was tickled to receive the following e-mail from a good friend of mine who has been a catechetical leader for years and is one of the smartest people I know:

To tell the truth, I’m sort of glad you didn’t find some secret I’ve missed my whole career. Because I would have felt very discouraged. It is discouraging enough! In fact, I’ve vowed to either totally revamp our family-centric First Communion retreat or never do it again. Parents could not have been less interested in participating with their kids. They either gossiped in groups or went to Starbucks, just leaving the kids as if we were the sitters.

There is a definite shift in culture. I’ve seen it building, but this year was definitive.

So, at least I know it isn’t just me!

This is precisely why I find it important to share my frustrations and failures here on my blog because, whenever I do, I have people tell me that it did them good because now they know “it isn’t just me!”

We’re all in this together! As I told my friend in response to her e-mail, “We won’t give up the good fight!”

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. Although this is only my 7th year as coordinator of FF …this year seemed different to me as well in regards to 2nd gr. Sacramental prep. It was a 1st when at First Reconciliation I had 3 students come w/o parents. I almost cried. Who drops off their child at the curb and maybe says…have a nice first reconciliation?

  2. Hey for the first time since maybe 2002 I’m doing an adult class, 12 lectures over the summer. I started with this offbeat course description:

    This course covers the sweep of Salvation History, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation. Along the way we’ll get a big-picture view of Catholicism and the Bible as a unified whole, with an emphasis on the continuity of body and soul, the Stuff and Spirit that comprise each human being. This course has no textbook and so it is FREE.”

    I have 29 people on the roll; about 25 show up. Catechists get cont. ed. credit, I think 4 are catechists. Last class, folks brought 3 visitors, that was nice. I do the same stuff I’ve done in 6th grade for the last 12 years: draw a lot, have skits, use props, read bits from the Bible, ask questions, have fun.

    I’m camcording all the classes too, I upload them here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6PJShBcWXV9UY2XQUCexp8VGqkNLXnRG

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