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: A Walk Through the Mass—Holy Communion

When we eat something, we can use the word “consume,” meaning that we not only take in certain foods, but that we totally absorb them. Indeed, much of what we eat is absorbed into the bloodstream, which is why we say, “You are what you eat.” Ultimately, what we consume, we end up being consumed by! If we consume junk food, too much junk becomes a part of us, and we are consumed by such […]

Resources for Putting Parents First During the Catechetical Year

Whenever we fly somewhere and listen to the instructions from the flight attendants, we are reminded that, if there is a sudden drop in pressure and the oxygen masks come down, adults should put their own masks on first and then assist their children in doing so. The logic is simple: adults will be needed to assist young people throughout the crisis and beyond. We need to take the same approach to our faith formation. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: A Walk Through the Mass—The Lord’s Prayer

We live in a culture that prizes independence. One of the biggest national holidays that we celebrate in the United States is, of course, Independence Day. When it comes to raising our children, we strive to prepare them to be autonomous and independent so that they can lead healthy and productive lives. In the spiritual life, however, there is no such thing as independence. Rather, the key to a healthy and thriving spiritual life is […]

Grandparents Reflect the Benignity of God

Back in the day, one of the Fruits of the Spirit—kindness—went by a different name: benignity. Now, before we go any further, we need to point out that the word benign has connotations in our culture that do not lend to a good understanding of kindness. Of course, benign is the direct opposite of the word malignant, meaning something that actively destroys. For some reason, however, the word benign has come to basically mean neutral. While it’s good news to hear […]

Finding God in Beauty: Visio Divina

Over the Church’s history, it was known—long before anyone had heard of multiple intelligences—that some people learned better through visuals. This was especially true during times when average folks were illiterate. Today, even though most people are literate, many people (including yours truly) consider themselves visual learners. For some people, visuals are also helpful for prayer experiences. For this reason, the Church has a tradition that parallels lectio divina (“divine reading” or reflection on the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: A Walk Through the Mass—The Eucharistic Prayer

These days, it is common to ask if an event will be in-person or virtual. While most people appreciate the convenience of virtual meetings, there is something to be said for in-person experiences. This is especially true the more intimate the relationship is. When children ask their parents to be present at one of their sporting events, a recital, or some other form of competition, they no doubt hope that presence will be real and […]

9/11 Twenty Years Later: The Importance of Remembering Even When It Hurts

The notion of “forgive and forget” sounds nice, but the forgetting part is not realistic and, more importantly, it’s not healthy. Remembering is an important part of our spirituality. Presently, as a country, we are remembering the events of September 11, 2001, as we mark the 20th anniversary of this tragedy. We remember, not in order to hold on to anger and hatred, but as a way of honoring those who died and as a […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: A Walk Through the Mass—Presentation of the Gifts and Preparation of the Altar

It is customary and considered polite, when asked to come to someone’s home for dinner, to ask, “What can I bring?” Even if our host tells us we don’t have to bring anything, we still usually bring a bottle of wine, a cheese tray, a dessert, flowers, or some other small token of our appreciation for the other person’s generosity. We do this as a way of showing our investment in the occasion. It’s a […]

A Healing Journal

In honor of this year’s Catechetical Sunday theme of “Say the Word and My Soul Shall Be Healed,” we offer a spiritual journaling exercise to help teachers, catechists, and parents reflect on the tensions of life and identify places in need of healing. The journal prompts are excerpted from Writing to Be Whole: A Healing Journal by Eddie Ensley and Robert Herrmann. As we continue to emerge from the isolation the pandemic forced upon us, […]

Catechetical Sunday 2021: Say the Word and My Soul Shall Be Healed​

Every year, on the third Sunday of September, the Church celebrates Catechetical Sunday, an opportunity to highlight the ministry of catechesis and to call forth and affirm the many people called to serve in this ministry. This year, Catechetical Sunday takes place on September 19, 2021, with the theme of “Say the Word and My Soul Shall Be Healed”—words drawn from the prayer we say just before coming forward to receive the Eucharist that are, […]

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