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: November, the Month of All Souls

For Catholics, the entire month of November (leading up to the First Sunday of Advent) is commemorated as the Month of All Souls—an opportunity to remember, honor, and pray for all of our deceased loved ones. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the practice of setting up a home altar of remembrance with pictures of deceased loved ones and candles to help us recall these special people and to pray for them throughout the […]

Accompaniment: Giving People the “Time of Day”

In the new Directory for Catechesis, there is a good amount of attention devoted to the notion of accompaniment. This is not surprising, since Pope Francis used the phrase “the art of accompaniment” in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. But what exactly does accompaniment look like? Simply put, to accompany someone is to give that person the “time of day”—a phrase we use to describe acknowledging someone and giving that someone our attention. It is to […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: St. Martin de Porres

When an orchestra prepares to perform together, they spend a few minutes before the performance ensuring that they are all in tune with one another. Without this effort, the audience would no doubt hear the disharmony and cringe at the discordant sound. In our human relationships, we are called to live in harmony with one another. In the area of race relations, however, we continue to experience far too much disharmony. On November 3, we […]

Printable Saints Figures

Celebrate the saints with our printable saints figures. Featuring art and saints from Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gift Kindergarten, these figures are a fun and simple project to color, cut, and fold. Here are a few ideas for how to use these saints figures: Display the finished figures on a classroom shelf or prayer table, or in the background for an online catechetical session. Fold the finished picture around a toilet paper tube […]

Enhancing Sacramental Preparation with Engaging Videos

I have long been an advocate of using engaging videos to enhance faith formation, as long as they are never used to replace the catechist. In other words, videos should always be seen as a supplement to the faith formation experience—a way of reinforcing important content visually and/or a way of telling a story that invites the viewer into a deeper experience of the theme being explored. In my years at Loyola Press, I have been […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Setting Your Children on a Path to Sainthood

“My child, a saint?” That might very well be your first reaction to the title of this post! The reason we might pause  when thinking of our children as potential saints is because we have the erroneous impression of the saints as perfect people, when the saints themselves would be the first to tell you how imperfect they were. First, don’t forget that we have two kinds of saints: those who have been canonized or honored […]

Reflecting on Your Calling as a Catechist

One of the themes emphasized in the new Directory for Catechesis (as in the previous General Directory for Catechesis) is the notion that catechists have a vocation. In particular, the new directory says: “The catechist is a Christian who receives a particular calling from God that, when accepted in faith, empowers him for the service of the transmission of faith and for the task of initiating others into the Christian life.” (112) This “particular calling” […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Practicing Mindfulness Like St. Teresa of Ávila

Throughout the history of the Church, there have been many notable men and women who have mastered the art of contemplation or resting in the presence of God. Today, another word used for contemplation is mindfulness, which, according to author Anne Kertz Kernion, can be described as “being fully anchored in the present moment.” (Spiritual Practices for the Brain) In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the notion of mindfulness as we prepare to […]

Prayer: You Called Me to Forgiveness

Lord, many people have spoken to me about you. I want to know you. I have many things in my life preventing me from seeing you, and many things not in keeping with your teachings separating me from you. They are obstacles on my way to you. I have chosen a lukewarm faith: a Christianity that is comfortable and complacent. I want to overcome these obstacles so that I may know you. I know that […]

Being, Knowing, and Doing

When we speak of someone being a well-rounded person, we are referring to the fact that that person is fully developed and possesses knowledge, capabilities, and skills in a wide range of areas. Catechists are most definitely called to be well-rounded! I was thrilled to see that the new Directory for Catechesis continues to use the language of the previous General Directory for Catechesis that insists that catechist formation be “three dimensional,” focusing on the areas of […]

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