Joe Paprocki, DMin

Joe Paprocki, DMin, National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola PressI absolutely love catechists!

I have been involved in the catechetical ministry for over 40 years. When I was in high school, I wanted to become a teacher, and I really felt called to teach religion. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I served as catechists at our parish, and I enjoyed helping others learn about their Catholic faith in a way that was engaging and imaginative.

I went to Loyola University Chicago, where I studied theology and history and entered the secondary education program. I became (and continue to be) certified to teach social studies in grades 6 through 12. However, since day one, I have used my teaching skills to teach religion. In recent years, I have served as a catechist at Most Holy Redeemer (Evergreen Park), St. Cajetan (Chicago), and Christ the King (Chicago/Beverly).

I began my professional teaching career as a religion teacher at a high school seminary in Chicago, where I taught for nine years while pursuing my master’s degree in pastoral studies at the Institute of Pastoral Studies (Loyola University Chicago).

When the school I was teaching at closed, I became a director of religious education and a pastoral associate at a parish on the southeast side of Chicago, where I served for seven years. I loved working with the catechists there and learned so much from them.

When a new pastor came along and decided he didn’t need a DRE, I moved on to the Office for Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Chicago. There I served as the consultant for catechist formation, working with my favorite people in the whole world: catechists! I had the opportunity of directing the faith formation program for catechists, leading to their certification.

After five years at the Office for Catechesis, I had the opportunity to join up with Loyola Press to work on creative and cutting-edge catechetical resources. I have been here since 2002 and now serve as the National Consultant for Faith Formation. During that time, I have presented in over 150 dioceses in North America. In 2018, I was honored to receive the Catechetical Award of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) during the annual meeting of the Conference that took place in Chicago!

Along the way, I have had the privilege of authoring a number of books published by Loyola Press, including:

Oh, by the way, I also completed my Doctor of Ministry degree in 2008 at St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein, Illinois. My wife and I have been married since 1982 (you can do the math!) and we have two grown children (both married) and four grandchildren.

—Joe Paprocki

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24 Comments on Joe Paprocki, DMin

  1. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for great presentations at our Religious Education Congress today! It was a great day and I wish I could have attended all the presentations. I hope to try out some guided meditations with my 7th graders in the coming weeks – I will keep you posted. I also wanted to give you a link to the Rosary Stars DVD I mentioned in the seminar, in case you might want to check it out or post it as a resource for others. Also, I will be posting your website/blog to my classmates in my graduate class (online) with Fordham on Youth and Young Adult Ministry (in case you start getting any new influx from Fordham email addreses.)

    Thanks again – you were inspiring!

    • Thanks so much, Alexis! I really enjoyed being a part of the RE Congress in Hartford today! Thanks for the link and I look forward to hearing from you about how it’s going with your 7th graders!

  2. Dear Joe,

    We recently purchased 200 of your book; “A Well Built Faith.” The Faith Formation Department purchased these as a Christmas gifts for every family. We will have a follow-up fireside chat with Father in January. However we desire to make this into a larger learning experience. What can you suggest as a strategic planfor motivating parents to read, discuss -share with each other and their children?

    Thanks, Colleen
    I would like to know what resources you have availble or ideas

    • Colleen, thanks for your message and for purchasing so many copies of A Well-Built Faith! Sounds like a nice way to celebrate Christmas with folks by sharing the faith! I’ll send you an email with some thoughts about growing it into a larger learning experience.

  3. Hi Joe
    Thank you SO much for sharing all your knowledge and wonderful ideas – just came over your sight and feel inspired having had a brief look ….. I have taught gr 2 and 3 Catechism for several years, but now find myself in the Middle East with a Confirmation group and limited materials so am somewhat out of my depth!! Can’t wait to sink my teeth into your materials.
    Blessings, Louise

  4. Wondering if you have any resources that we might use to study the National Directory of Catechesis (study guides, etc)? thank you

  5. Hi Joe, I just read Practice Makes Catholic. Thank you so much for your definition of “Sacramentality” on p. xiii. It is just what I need for something I’m working on. I hope it is ok to quote it. I’ll always give credit where credit is due!


  6. Joe,

    I just bought ‘Catechist’s Toolbox’, including the ‘Leader’s Edition’, and ‘A Well-Built Faith’ in anticipation of a catechist formation session at our parish. I’ll be leading the formation, and I will be buying copies of your ‘CT’ and Thomas Groome’s “What Makes Us Catholic?” for everyone who attends. I was wondering if there were any other resources you might suggest for the participants, specifically considering that they will be the catechists for the youth of our parish?

    Thanks, Joe! I look forward to seeing you this October for your keynote in Richmond!


    • Hi Dave and thanks for your comment. Thanks especially for purchasing Catechist’s Toolbox and A Well-Built Faith! I’m honored to have my book being placed into the hands of your catechists alongside of Thomas Groome’s book! I’d say that for right now, you’ve got enough to give them…you don’t want to overload them all at once. Feel free to contact me along the way if you decide you want to put something else in their hands and you want my suggestions…I’ll be happy to help. Looking forward to Richmond as well!

  7. Hi Joe,

    What a surprise I had several days ago. My husband had to go to Hawaii on business and he said, after 32 years of marriage, how about that trip to Hawaii! That sounded great…I had always wanted to go. Our hotel was next to St. Augustine’s Church on Oahu. I had the blessing of going to morning mass each day of the trip. In reading their bulletin, I discovered that this up-coming weekend they have a faith formation conference “in town”…..and you are the key=note speaker!

    Unfortunately, we left town this past weekend after a relaxing (for me) trip filled with appreciation for God’s creation; so I was unable to catch you in Hawaii.

    Yet my husband and I both chuckled at the wonders of coming all the way from Illinois only to see that someone I admire in faith formation; also was being given the wonderful opportunity to be in Hawaii “on business.”

    Mahalo for all you do!

    • Aloha, Roberta! Isn’t that amazing! We’re just down the block from St. Augustine’s as well! What a paradise this is! Mahalo for all you do as well! -joe

  8. Joe,

    We would love to do a parish wide study this fall using the 2nd edition of your soon to be released book, Living the Mass. Is there a target release date we could plan around? Will be there be quantity discounts?

    Thanks for making our jobs so much easier!

    • HI Julie and thanks for using Living the Mass for your fall study! I’m told that the book will be available in September. I suggest you contact Customer Service at Loyola Press (800-621-1008) to clarify. You can get 30% off by using the code: LIVING before 9/30/11.

  9. Peace in Christ Joe! I have invited my catechists to follow your blog and we are starting to use your webinars. What a great tool they are, I just wish they could be reviewed later on after the blog is over. Any chance that the latest group will be re-posted?

    • Walt, thanks! All of my webinars are recorded and archived on my blog, Catechist’s Journey…just go to the tab at the top of my home page that says Webinars and you’ll find them there. They are usually posted within a week or so of the live event.

  10. Hello Joe, My name is Janie. I am a DRE and this is my 3rd year. I love helping our catechists grow in our Catholic faith and love doing retreats for them. My question is, Is there a 3 day retreat outline I can follow for the “Living as Missionary Disciples”? I want to keep it in theme of our Catechetical Sunday. I would love even more so if you could join us!!! and show how it should be ran! This is my second year doing it and it was a lot of fun for our catechists. Hope to hear from you soon. By the way the retreat is in 3 weeks!

    • Hi Janie and thanks for your comment. I’m not aware of a retreat outline for Living as a Missionary Disciple. Might I recommend following the 9 chapters of my book Under the Influence of Jesus? That would make a wonderful outline for a 3 day retreat with each chapter providing an aspect of understanding missionary discipleship. I hope this is helpful! Blessings! -joe

  11. Thanks for the Easter Holy Week powerpoint Came in handy with remote learning for my Sophmore class…saved me a lot of time and it clarifies the specifics of Holy week really well. Thanks again.

  12. Joe, 2 years ago I met a lady from Chigago in Mauritius. She with with a friend from the dicastry and had been working with child catechesis. I am involved in Catechesis in the UK and want to make contact with someone from your diocese so we can attempt to copy your program here. I forget the lady’s name but I was with a friend in a wheelchair. Can you help please?

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