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.

A Play: Paul, the Apostle

Bring St. Paul to life in your school or parish by producing the three-act play Paul, the Apostle. Young people can perform each act for their peers in the classroom, or adults and youth can work together to perform the entire play for a community audience. The acts introduce in a fun way: Paul’s Youth Saul’s Conversion Paul’s Missionary Journeys Perfect for a summer gathering around the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (June […]

Learning by “Talking Things Out”—Interpersonal Learning

I have to admit that, as an introvert (technically speaking), I tend to cringe a bit when a facilitator or speaker tells us participants to turn to a neighbor or group of neighbors and engage in discussion. It’s just not my style. Of course, when I do follow instructions, I find that I meet some wonderful people and learn some amazing things! At the other end of the spectrum are people who are eager to interact […]

Sunday Mass: “Why Do We Have to Go?” (Part Two)

Recently, I posted about the challenge of convincing our children that going to Mass is a priority in our lives, especially when they push back and tell us that it’s boring or that they don’t get anything out of it. Rather than trying to convince them that it will be fun and exciting, it is more important that we concentrate on helping them to appreciate the deeper reasons why Sunday worship—the Eucharist—is so central to […]

Online Book Club: The Prayer List

Make plans to deepen your spiritual life this summer from the comfort of your favorite reading spot. Join us here at Catechist’s Journey for an online book club starting June 4. We’ll be reading Jane Knuth’s The Prayer List…and Other True Stories of How Families Pray. About the Book When Jane Knuth inherited the family “prayer list” from her aunt, she decided to continue the tradition of praying regularly with the list of needs and […]

If a Young Mr. Spock Were in Your Religious Education Class

Sometimes I like to imagine what it would have been like to teach Catholic faith formation to either a famous or a fictional character. Recently, I thought to myself, “What would a catechist do if a young Mr. Spock showed up as a student in religious education class?” Of course, you remember Mr. Spock, the fictional character from Star Trek, who was half-human and half-Vulcan: an alien species that operated solely on logic and eschewed emotion. […]

Sunday Mass: “Why Do We Have to Go?”

We’re all familiar with the question that children ask when we are taking them somewhere they are excited about: “Are we there yet?!” Unfortunately, when it comes to taking our children to church on Sunday, the question often turns into, “Why do we have to go?” It can be challenging for parents who want their children to develop an appreciation for the centrality of Sunday Eucharist, when they receive “push-back” instead of enthusiasm. Try as […]

Perseverance: I Will Try Again Tomorrow

When I do presentations for catechists all over the country, I like to ask how long folks have served in this role: newbies? Five years? Ten years? Once, as I kept going in five-year increments, a catechist in the front row continued to raise her hand as I sailed past 40, 45, 50, and 55 years! I finally asked her, “How many years have you been a catechist?” to which she proudly replied, “This is […]

Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In her book, Cultivating Your Catechists: How to Recruit, Encourage, and Retain Successful Catechists (The Effective Catechetical Leader series), Jayne Mondoy reminds us that corporate America invests millions of dollars in coaching groups of individuals (employees or clients) to work together toward a common goal and to be fully engaged. The truth is, without engagement, people (especially volunteers) tend to burn out more quickly. In his book, Growing an Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman identifies three […]

A Mother’s Gaze

One of the advantages of being a grandparent in the digital age is receiving a constant stream of pictures of our granddaughter Olivia (born 3/11/18) from our daughter-in-law Sarah. It seems that Sarah is capable of catching every mood on Olivia’s face, whether she is sleeping like an angel, screaming like a banshee, or everything in between. What impresses me most is that, in order to do this, Sarah needs to have her gaze constantly […]

There’s a Hymnal in My Bible!

If you’ve ever questioned the significance of music when it comes to our faith, consider the fact that, right before the halfway point of our Bible, you will find a hymnal—the Book of Psalms! Although we do not have the original melodies of these song-prayers, we do know that they were put to music and used in Temple worship. In addition to the presence of a hymnal in our Bible, also know that music appears […]

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