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.

Mystagogy: Becoming Progressively Aware of Mystery

When it comes to inspiration about faith formation, one of my favorite quotes comes from Orthodox bishop and theologian Kallistos Ware, who said, “We see that it is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.” The task of becoming progressively aware of mystery is known […]

How Do We Show Appreciation to Catechists During the Pandemic?

Recently I received the following e-mail from a Catechist’s Journey reader: Any ideas for catechist appreciation this year with such a variety of comfort levels with gathering? Usually we do a big dinner, but we are currently only allowed to serve prepackaged food at parish functions according to diocesan guidelines. —Diana G. Thanks for asking the question, Diana, which I’m now asking of the rest of you readers. Perhaps you are a catechetical leader asking the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Divine Mercy and Treating People Like One of the Family

One of the most compelling reasons for believing in the Resurrection of Jesus—for me, at least—is the fact that the Gospel writers record no acts of vengeance on the part of the Risen Christ. Think about it: if the Gospel writers were trying to protect or restore their own reputations for backing a failed messiah who was publicly executed in the most humiliating way, they would most likely fabricate a story about his return to […]

The Risen Christ Enters Through Locked Doors

One of the most tantalizing details of the Resurrection accounts is the fact that the Risen Jesus enters rooms through locked doors. We read in the Gospels that the Apostles had locked themselves in the upper room in fear after Jesus’ Crucifixion. And yet, the Risen Christ appeared in their midst. (John 20:19) This message is so important for us today, as we find ourselves still in the pandemic, still observing isolation and social-distancing guidelines. […]

Sunday : The Week :: The Triduum : The _________

Many standardized tests use the formula seen in the title for word analogies. If you are not familiar with the formula, it is “translated” accordingly: “Sunday is to the week as the Triduum is to the ______.” And the answer is: year. I learned this analogy years ago from the great liturgist, Gabe Huck, who made it a point to assert that, “Sunday is to the week as the Triduum is to the year.” In […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Washing Feet

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. You might also like: Holy Thursday’s Hidden Graces 3-Minute Retreat: The Lord’s Supper (also in Spanish)

How to Make Holy Week Holy

Now that Holy Week is upon us, I recognize that many catechists may be searching for resources to help those they teach and their families to truly enter into these solemn days to make them truly holy, or “set apart.” I’d like to offer some suggestions. For starters, don’t forget this free slide presentation I put together a few years ago to provide an overview of Holy Week, the Triduum, and Easter. Another Holy Week resource […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Keeping Christ in Easter

When it comes to the 40 days of Lent, most of us have an idea of what to do during this season: pray, fast, and give alms. But what about the 50 days of Easter? What do we do during the Easter season to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus? Of course we continue to pray, and almsgiving is always in season. Instead of fasting, we feast (not to be confused with gluttonous behavior). But what […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Crucifixion and a Curtain Torn from Top to Bottom

As we draw near the end of Lent, we pause to reflect on the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary: the Crucifixion. Growing up in a very Catholic family, in a very Catholic neighborhood in Chicago, and attending a Catholic school ensured that I was in church every Friday afternoon of Lent for the Stations of the Cross and on Good Friday for services that included the reading of Jesus’ Passion. Among the many things that I […]

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