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.

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 […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Palms as Part of Our Catholic Home Decor

It is no secret that Catholics have a deep appreciation for signs and symbols. It is part of our sacramental sensibility that reminds us of the presence of God in our midst. For this reason, Catholics are not shy about displaying sacred images in their homes, including a crucifix, a Bible, candles, and small statues. One unique example of this Catholic home décor is the placement of blessed palms—brought home from Palm Sunday Mass—in various […]

Easter Season Prayer Cards

Focus on the first disciples this Easter season by downloading our free prayer cards. Each card includes a short prayer asking for the intercession of one of the disciples who encountered Jesus in the days and weeks after the Resurrection. With prayers addressing St. Mary Magdalene, St. Peter, St. Thomas, and more, these cards draw our attention to the early disciples and serve as a great reminder that these holy men and women have lessons […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Carrying of the Cross and the Heaviness of Discipleship

As we continue our Lenten journey, let’s reflect on the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: the Carrying of the Cross. When Jesus was sentenced to death by Pilate, he was made to carry his Cross—most likely a wooden cross beam weighing about 75–100 pounds, which would then be attached to a wooden pole already in the ground on Calvary. The Gospels and the Stations of the Cross remind us that, under this burden, Jesus, in his weakened […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Holy Week

I wonder how many parents have a dandelion, given to them by a child, pressed in a memory book somewhere. A dandelion is a very ordinary thing—a weed, actually. And yet, when a child picks a dandelion to give to Mommy or Daddy to show love, it becomes a precious thing. It is not tossed out, but is set aside, first in a vase with water and then pressed in the pages of a memory […]

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