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.

Pop-Up Catechesis: Caring for the Environment and St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Now that summer is here, it feels so good to get outside, especially given all of the restrictions we have been living under in recent months due to the pandemic. The beauty of nature reminds us that all of creation is a wonderful gift from God that we need to take care of. In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14), patroness of the environment and ecology. […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 4: Invite a Leap of Faith

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we explore apprenticing those we teach in laying down their lives for others. Strategy #4: Invite a leap of faith. It is a fairly common practice in advertising to garner attention by making a claim about a product or service that is counterintuitive and requires a “leap of faith.” For example: a diet plan promises that you […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Saints Peter and Paul and Overcoming Rivalries

Rivalries can be harmful, but they can also be productive as rivals seek to “up their game” to keep up with and perhaps outdo the other. In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the rivalry between Saints Peter and Paul, whose feast we celebrate on June 29, and how the two were able to set aside their rivalry to work toward the same goal: spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 3: Proclaim Jesus’ Mighty Deeds

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith (drawing from my new book of the same name), we move on to strategy #3. Strategy #3: Proclaim Jesus’ mighty deeds. Many ads and TV commercials include a claim about the product or resource being sold, followed by testimonials from satisfied customers, and finally an invitation to potential customers to “find out what _____ can do for you!” This strategy […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I’m sure you’re familiar with a TV commercial that asks, “What’s in your wallet?” In a life of faith, we ask a different question: “What’s in your heart?” In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore what is in the hearts of Jesus and Mary as we prepare to celebrate the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (June 19 and 20, 2020, respectively). For more information […]

Rediscovering the Value of Crafts in Faith Formation

As families find themselves spending more time together at home during the ongoing pandemic, parents and children alike are stretching their imaginative muscles to fill extra time on their hands due to canceled activities. Many parents are rediscovering the value of doing crafts, especially as a way to teach faith to their children. Too often dismissed as “fluff,” craft activities in religious education can serve as effective concrete expressions of the concepts being taught. They can […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 2: Introduce Jesus as Someone You Can Trust

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith (based on my new book of the same name), we explore establishing a climate of trust. Strategy #2: Introduce Jesus as someone you can trust. Advertisements seek to gain your trust. The goal is to convince you that your money will be well-spent on whatever product or service is being sold. In a similar way, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Practicing Real Presence

During this pandemic, we’ve had to restrict our presence to virtual for occasions that we normally and preferably would be really and truly present. In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the concept of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist as we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). For more information about the Real Presence and the celebration of the […]

Creating an Online Presence in One Week: A Tale of One Chicago Parish

When stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March because of the pandemic, many parish religious education programs found themselves facing unimaginable challenges. The main challenge, of course, was how to reach families and children who still had another six weeks of faith formation sessions left in the catechetical year. Many catechetical leaders and catechists all over the country responded with heroic efforts to sustain their programs through virtual contact. One such parish is St. Sylvester, […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 1: Focus on Brokenness

Welcome to my summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith. Today we look at the first strategy for tilling the soil of people’s hearts and minds: Strategy #1: Point out that potential believers’ current “way” is broken or unsatisfactory and needs to be repaired or replaced. In other words, we need to begin the faith formation journey by drawing attention to our human brokenness, and we proclaim […]

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