Prayer and Storytelling with a Digital Twist

boy with headphones at laptop

In my book, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, I emphasize the need for meaningful experiences of prayer and effective storytelling as crucial elements for a more evangelizing catechesis. As a Church, we have been praying and storytelling for more than 2,000 years, so these are nothing new. What is new, however, is the digital world of which we are all now citizens! The digital world has opened up new opportunities for us to do storytelling more effectively and to engage others in meaningful experiences of prayer.

I’d like to share a couple of examples, one for each of the topics of prayer and storytelling.


Guided reflections, a form of prayer popularized by St. Ignatius of Loyola, are an important part of the faith formation experience. While guided reflections are not new, today’s catechist can take advantage of downloadable audio to provide learners with guided reflection experiences. Here is a sample of a grade 2 guided reflection,  “The Vine and the Branches,” from the Finding God 2021 edition.


Our catechetical storytelling usually covers three areas: Scripture stories, stories of the saints, and stories of our own experiences of grace. When it comes to Scripture stories, it can help for learners to listen to a downloadable audio version of the story in order for it to “come to life” and more effectively engage their imaginations. Here is a sample of a grade 5 recorded Scripture story, “Jesus Feeds the Crowd,” from the Finding God 2021 edition.

These downloadable audio files of Scripture stories and guided reflections can be found on the Spoken Word Digital Playlists (one playlist per grade level, K–8), each including five Scripture stories and five guided reflections for only $9.99. Find links to each grade level’s playlist beginning here in the Loyola Press Digital Catalog.

Prayer and storytelling are timeless treasures of our Catholic faith. However, in today’s digital world, we can use new methods for helping learners to encounter Jesus through prayer and storytelling with a digital twist!

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. For several years, I have had wonderful experiences using Guided Reflections with my second-graders. I used the ones provided in our God’s Gift teacher guides, Praying My Faith and Praying With Scripture. I was not sure how well that would translate to remote lessons–but has worked beautifully. Since I did it the first time, the kids keep asking to do it again. I used the one on The Shepherd’s Story in our Nativity lesson this week.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with your second-graders, Cindy! Isn’t it something how kids keep asking for guided reflections?! I had the same experience with every age group I’ve taught!

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