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.

Service Opportunities for Families During Lent

The Directory for Catechesis reminds us that the family “is indeed a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more ongoing and daily than structured into periods.” (227) Lent is a perfect time for parents to give witness to their children of the importance of serving others. During Lent, we make efforts to pray, fast, and give alms. Almsgiving is an activity that the whole family can participate in, because it […]

My New Book Is Here: 8 Steps to Energize Your Faith

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book, 8 Steps to Energize Your Faith, is now available!  I am convinced that holiness is achieved by emulating (resembling) God and that, when we do, we tap into divine energy. In this book, I name eight characteristics of God that God has revealed to us in Scripture and point out how, when we emulate those characteristics in our daily living, we step into a stream of […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Celebrating Diversity

One of the most beautiful characteristics of the Catholic Church is its unique diversity, which has been present since the beginning of the Church on that first Pentecost. Today, there are between 1.2 and 1.3 billion Catholics in the world. In the Archdiocese of Chicago alone, where I live, Mass is celebrated every week in more than 50 languages. It is not enough for us, however, to simply recognize or tolerate this diversity; it is […]

Diving into Lent

When I go swimming at the health club, diving into the pool is always a bit of a shock to my system. Once my body adjusts to the water temperature, however, I gradually begin to enjoy the buoyancy that results in a “lightness of being” that is renewing. This Lent, I invite you to “dive into” the 40 days in much the same way. At first, the change in climate can be a bit of […]

Catechists Help Others to See with the Heart

For some time now, I have been sharing thoughts here on Catechist’s Journey about catechists as mystagogues—people who invite and lead others into the Paschal Mystery. Recently, I came across a metaphor from Fr. Kevin O’Brien, SJ, that I believe illustrates the difference between being solely a teacher and being a mystagogue when it comes to passing along a spiritual tradition: A wise Jesuit friend once told me that tradition should act more like a […]

Living the Mass the Other Six Days of the Week: The Liturgy of the Word

As we journey through the National Eucharistic Revival, we are reflecting on the parts of the Mass and what each part is calling us to do and be the other six days of the week. In this episode, we look at the Liturgy of the Word and how the Scripture readings invite us to reshape the narrative of our lives and of the world from one of loss, brokenness, and fear to one of rescue, restoration, […]

Eucharist Tic-Tac-Toe

Invite children to demonstrate their understanding of the Eucharist by playing a themed game of tic-tac-toe. Use the game as a review during sacramental preparation sessions, or involve children in the Eucharistic Revival by playing this and reading Seven Clues: A Catholic Treasure Hunt in a family session or First Eucharist retreat day. For more resources on preparation for First Eucharist, see God’s Gift.

Preparing for the Jubilee Year of 2025: Pilgrims of Hope

Pope Francis has announced that the Church will celebrate a Jubilee Year in 2025, with the theme of “Pilgrims of Hope.” In preparation for the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis is asking Catholics to prepare by dedicating time in the following manner: 2023: Study the documents of the Second Vatican Council. 2024: Focus on prayer. Now that 2023 is upon us, we would do well to turn our attention to the documents of the Second Vatican […]

Pop-Up Prayer: Guest Fr. Kevin O’Brien, SJ

In this episode of Pop-Up Prayer, educator and author Fr. Kevin O’Brien, SJ, talks about the need to “keep it real” when it comes to our prayer. Fr. O’Brien practiced law and taught high school before joining the Jesuits in 1996. He has taught theology and spirituality at Georgetown University, Santa Clara University, and Fairfield University, and is the author of the award-winning book, The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily […]

Helping Parents Prepare Children at Home for First Eucharist and Reconciliation

One of the things that we learned from the experience of the pandemic over the last few years was how to assist parents at home with the faith formation of their children. This help often took the form of providing parents with digital resources they could use at home with their children, utilizing them when their schedules allow quality time for faith formation. First Eucharist is one of the primary moments in the life of […]

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