About Joe Paprocki
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.

Helping Young People Write Intercessions

While many parts of the Mass are always the same (we use the same words for the Gloria; the Holy, Holy, Holy; the Lord’s Prayer; the Lamb of God; etc.), several parts are always different from one Mass to another: the Scripture readings, the homily, and the Prayer of the Faithful. This, of course, gives us an opportunity to invite young people to shape some of the words we use at Mass. In particular, inviting […]

Establishing a Climate of Trust: Growing with GOD

Many experts in leadership emphasize that one of the first priorities of an effective leader is to establish a climate of trust. In other words, people need to know that they are safe in this environment that they are being invited into. This is especially crucial in a faith formation/spiritual environment where people are being invited to entrust their entire being to the Person of Jesus Christ and his Church. Doing the work of establishing […]

Celebrating the Sunday of the Word of God, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

In recent years, I have been increasingly convinced of the notion that our lives are guided by a narrative that is shaped by many factors and influences from the day we were born. This narrative colors how we see ourselves, others, and all of reality, including God. This concept is very familiar to people participating in twelve-step groups, since the healing process involves eradicating unhealthy narratives (“stinking thinking”) and replacing them with a healthy narrative. As […]

Small Changes for a Big Year: Keeping Our New Year’s Resolutions Real

With the new year upon us, many of us are undertaking New Year’s resolutions, which is all well and good. Unfortunately, many of our resolutions fall by the wayside within a few weeks for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that many of them are simply unrealistic! When it comes to making changes in our habits, the changes need to be realistic and incremental, lest we become overwhelmed and give up […]

Overcoming the False Dichotomy Between Faith and Science

As researchers dig deeper into discovering why young people become disengaged from practicing faith, one of the most startling revelations is that, for far too many, the decision to disengage occurs between the ages of 10–13. Most often, the reason given for this disengagement is a preference on the part of young people for science or that which “can be proven.” They are, unfortunately, perceiving (and we are unintentionally communicating) a dichotomy between faith and science, […]

Poll: When Do You Celebrate Christmas with Your Faith Formation Group?

My wife taught for years at several different Catholic high schools, and she recalls how, in one school, the principal insisted that there be no Christmas decorations during Advent, while at another school, the principal wanted the school festooned with Christmas decorations so that visitors to open house could see them! As catechists, we want to celebrate Christmas with those in our faith formation groups; however, most often, we end up not seeing them for […]

Catechists Are Incarnational Ministers

As we await on the doorstep of Christmas—the celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ—I’d like to take this time to wish all of my Catechist’s Journey readers a very blessed Christmas! This is the season in which we celebrate the very heart of our faith: our knowledge that God has drawn near to his people; the Word became flesh and dwelt among us! In Jesus Christ, the invisible and intangible God became visible and […]

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