I End This Blog with a K.I.S.S.

collage of Joe Paprocki photos through the years of Catechist's Journey blogging

Before you think I’m getting all sentimental, let me explain that the K.I.S.S. I am ending the Catechist’s Journey blog with stands for “Keep It Super Simple.”

My inspiration for this comes from a surprising source: Pope Benedict XVI. Why is that surprising? Because Pope Benedict was not a simple man! He was one of the most profound and complex theological minds of the 20th and early 21st centuries. And yet, in 2009, when asked by a parish priest during a papal audience to share his wisdom about catechesis and evangelization, Pope Benedict replied, “Let us not lose the simplicity of the truth.” He went on to say, “We must also keep in mind, free of false simplifications, that the Twelve Apostles were fishermen, artisans, of the province of Galilee, without special preparation, without knowledge of the great Greek and Latin worlds. And yet they went to all the places of the Empire, even outside of it, to India, and proclaimed Christ with simplicity, with the force of simplicity of what is true.” (Pope Benedict’s encounter with the priests of Rome, Feb. 26, 2009)

Pope Benedict—a very sophisticated theologian—told his priests, in essence, to “keep it simple.”

Keeping it simple does not mean “dumbing down” our faith. What it does mean is to be kerygmatic—making sure that the core message we are proclaiming is accessible, understandable, portable, shareable, and replicable. Recall that I have often summed up the entire proclamation of the faith in three words: rescue, restoration, and reassurance.

When we proclaim faith, those who receive it should be able to “echo” it, which is the very definition of the Greek word catechesis. In other words, if we catechists effectively proclaim the Good News in simple terms, those we have taught can and should be able to carry on without us. This is why, in the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26–40), after Philip catechizes and then baptizes the Ethiopian, “the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.”

To draw on an old but wise cliche, our job as catechists is not to give people fish so that they can eat for a day, but rather to teach people to fish so that they can eat for life. I hope and pray that, through this blog, Catechist’s Journey, I have taught you “how to fish” so that you can teach, not just one cool lesson, but for a lifetime.

I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful support over these almost 18 years! It has been a privilege accompanying you on your journey as a catechist. And don’t forget that the content of Catechist’s Journey is not all going to disappear. Much of it will be available in the coming months at the Loyola Press website, where you will also find continued support through articles addressing various topics related to teaching our Catholic faith. Likewise, I encourage you to subscribe to the Catholic Faith Formation newsletter to stay in touch with helpful catechetical resources. Finally, you can continue to experience solidarity with the catechetical community by joining the Catholic Faith Formation Facebook group.

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. Joe, thanks for all that you have done for the Faith Formation Community and all of the catechists that appreciate your resources and professionalism. May God continue to bless you, your family and your ministry!

  2. Thanks for all the inspiration and your incessant enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel.
    I’ve always felt the famous quote should be modified to say “Share the Gospel… and always with joy.” Thank you for your example.

  3. Again, thank you so much for your ministry to catechists and to faith formation. You really have inspired my ministry as a PCL through your books and this blog. I am very happy to hear that some of the Catechist Journey articles will be available to reference. God bless you.

  4. Hi Joe, you have done amazing work for the past 18 years. I have learnt so much from you and your articles. Please do continue to enlighten us so that we can KISS our kids for a lifetime. God bless you and yours.

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