And Away We Go!

kick off

I’m old enough to remember how Jackie Gleason would say, “And awaaaay we go!” at the beginning of his TV show every week. Those words popped into my mind as we kicked off the catechetical year at St. Cajetan Parish last week. We began with a prayer service in church, which included blessings of the parents, children, catechists, and Finding God textbooks.

After some inspiring words from the pastor, Fr. Frank Kurucz, the young people were prayerfully sent forth in procession with their catechists. The parents remained in church for a presentation which included the Start-of-the-Year Parent Gathering PowerPoint that I made available here a while back.

Parents then met in small groups to share stories of who inspired them to grow in faith. Finally, after a few business announcements, the parents gathered in the church vestibule to receive folders and enjoy refreshments before heading over to the school building to meet the catechists and retrieve their children. It was a great kick-off to the catechetical year and highlighted the role that parents play in their children’s faith formation.

I look forward to dropping in on the fifth-grade class very soon to begin reporting on their efforts to incorporate works of mercy into every session.

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

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