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.

With Small Faith Groups, Capitalize on Flexibility

With Lent being just about a month away, many parishes are looking at utilizing small faith groups, one of the most effective formats for adult faith formation and a reality that I have written about previously. Too often, we think that we have to find a “permanent” resource for small faith groups—something that they can use continually without change. This flies in the face of one of the best things about small faith groups, which is […]

The Centrality of Evangelizing Households

Right before the holidays, I had the pleasure of enjoying a long, lazy lunch with my friend Tom Quinlan, Director of the Religious Education Office for the Diocese of Joliet and author of Excellence in Ministry: Best Practices for Successful Catechetical Leadership, part of the Effective Catechetical Leader series from Loyola Press and NCCL. Over a period of almost three hours, Tom and I chatted about a myriad of issues related to our shared passion—the catechetical […]

Increasing Family Attendance at Mass: What Works?

Since buying a lake house in Wisconsin a year ago, my wife and I spend most weekends away from our home parish, Christ the King, in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. So, recently, when I attended Mass there, I was surprised that the crowd seemed bigger than usual. Sure enough, in the parish bulletin that week, the pastor, Fr. Larry Sullivan, wrote about what he was thankful for in 2017, and one of the top […]

Four Ways to Retain Catechists

It is estimated that there are about 500,000 volunteer catechists in the United States and that, each year, one-third of them—150,000—”turn over.” I’m sure that sometimes it feels like all 150,000 catechists who leave are from your parish! The truth is, it takes a lot of hard work to retain catechists. In her new book, Cultivating Your Catechists: How to Recruit, Encourage, and Retain Successful Catechists, Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy shares four principles for retaining catechists. Support […]

Sacrament Video Wins Award!

In ministry, as in many walks of life, affirmation does not always come easily. That’s why when it does come along, it is really something to celebrate! With that in mind, I am happy to share some good news with you: a video that I wrote and hosted for the God’s Gift: Eucharist program for Loyola Press recently won an award! The Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts announced that the “Sacrament of the Eucharist” […]

Hope Is Not a Feeling; It’s a Practice

As much as Facebook can sometimes be annoying and frustrating, with people venting and over-sharing, I also find a number of gems along the way. One person I can count on for that is my friend Bob Burnham, who recently posted the following phrase: “Hope is not a feeling; it’s a practice.” He then generously shared a link to a very nice article he wrote for Busted Halo: “3 Ways to Practice Hope,” in which he […]

What, In God’s Name, Are We Doing?

There is a great scene from the classic sitcom, Seinfeld, in which Jerry and George sit in the diner lamenting a particularly frustrating day. Jerry begins to question the direction of their lives: “What is this?” he asks. “What are we doing? What in god’s name are we doing?” He and George go on to lament their pathetic lives before Jerry resolves, “Well, this is it. I’m really gonna do something about my life, you know? George, […]

Babies Are Game Changers. The Christ Child Is No Exception!

When we think of Jesus coming into our world as a baby, we can easily be lulled into lovely, peaceful images of cuddly babies sleeping in heavenly peace. The truth is, babies are “game changers!” The dictionary defines a game changer as “an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.” Having a baby is a game changer. You know this if you are […]

A Different Kind of Leadership

Following is an excerpt from Catechetical Leadership by Adrián Alberto Herrera. As you peruse a bookstore or browse books online, you will find no shortage of titles on leadership. The books you find, however, will tend to be confined to three areas: business, sports, and politics. If you are looking to run a corporation, coach a championship team, or rule the world, you’ll be in luck! Unfortunately, those books don’t translate well to the world […]

In-House Service Experiences: Reading Books to Young Children

It’s not always easy for young people to arrange to participate in service experiences, since they rely on adults for transportation. Likewise, as a catechist or teacher, it can sometimes be difficult logistically to plan opportunities for your students to participate in off-site service experiences. One solution is to arrange for older children to spend some time reading books to younger children! Young children love to be read to. In addition to that, reading aloud to […]

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