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: Speaking God’s Language Through Silence

When I was in high school, I remember being told by a Jesuit priest (one of my teachers) to listen for God in the silence. This was no easy task. First of all, it was not easy for me to find a quiet place in a home that I shared with my eight siblings! Second, when I did find some silence, I never heard God speaking to me. When I related this to the priest, […]

Catechists as Mystagogues: Helping Others Recognize the Path That Leads to Life

I’ve previously written about how a mystagogue helps others to recognize unhealthy paths or narratives that diminish and destroy rather than give life. In this post, we explore how catechists as mystagogues help others recognize the path that leads to fullness of life. The Directory for Catechesis explains that: Every person, prompted by the disquiet that dwells within his heart, by way of the sincere search for the meaning of his existence, is able to […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Speaking God’s Language Through Music

Throughout their history, the Jewish people have included music in every facet of living. Believing that humans are created in the image and likeness of God, the Jewish people easily concluded that God does indeed sing, since his creation is filled with music (Psalm 96:1, Isaiah 55:12), and our souls are compelled to give praise to God in song (Psalm 27:6). The prophet Zephaniah assures God’s people that God “will take great delight in you; […]

Sharing the Wisdom of Time Through Storytelling: Peggy Weber

As we continue our occasional series of video reflections on Sharing the Wisdom of Time—reflecting on the wisdom learned from our elders—I invite you to enjoy a brief reflection from Peggy Weber, author of Enough as You Are. Peggy is an award-winning journalist and author who has been working at her craft for almost 40 years, primarily with the Catholic press. Peggy reflects on the importance of celebrating the present and the wisdom we can learn […]

Teaching About the Nearness of God Through Jesus’ Parables

Jesus’ words reveal to us that we have direct access to a God who is neither remote nor distant, but present. Jesus told parables that present an image of God as one who is relentlessly searching us out and as one who takes great joy in our return to his arms. Our God is accessible, not aloof, withdrawn, or reserved. God is in pursuit of us and will not be satisfied until he has drawn […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Speaking God’s Language Through Signs and Symbols

Throughout Scripture, God’s presence is manifested symbolically, in a burning bush, a pillar of fire, a column of smoke, clouds on a mountaintop, a mighty wind, a whispering sound, a dove, or tongues of fire. God did not reveal himself as a hologram in the same fashion as Princess Leia appeared to Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kanobi in Star Wars. Instead, God chose to reveal his mysterious, transcendent, invisible, and intangible presence through tangible, […]

Our 15th Anniversary Giveaway: A Church on the Move

We continue our year-long celebration of the 15th anniversary of the launch of Catechist’s Journey and publication of The Catechist’s Toolbox. Our celebration continues today with the chance to win a copy of my book, A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion. Well before the pandemic, I wrote A Church on the Move, recognizing that our parishes were in crisis and in need of new approaches to engaging […]

Catechists as the Keepers of Memories

One of the most inspiring images presented in the new Directory for Catechesis is the image of the catechist as the “keeper of the memory of God.” Here’s what the Directory has to say: The catechist is a witness of faith and the keeper of the memory of God. The faith contains the memory of God’s history with humanity. Keeping this memory, reawakening it in others, and placing it at the service of the proclamation […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Speaking God’s Language Through Bible Stories

According to linguist Noam Chomsky, “Language embodies the world view of a culture and is unique to the culture that created it. It reflects values and concepts that are deemed to be the most important by a culture. A language describes the culture it comes from.” For this reason, it is imperative that Catholic parents speak God’s language at home, especially when children are preparing for a sacrament. What do we mean by the phrase, […]

Catechists as Mystagogues: Exposing Unhealthy Paths and Narratives

A mystagogue is someone who not only teaches, but also leads and accompanies others into mystery (Directory for Catechesis 113). The mystagogue recognizes that our biblical understanding of mystery is not as something to be solved but as something to enter into, and as something that is revealed and yet remains hidden. One of the first ways that we as catechists do this is by helping those we teach to recognize unhealthy life paths or […]

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