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.

Fourth Week of Advent (Year C): The Plane! The Plane! Our Help Has Arrived!

Recently, I had the opportunity to see the HBO movie, My Dinner With Hervé, in which actor Peter Dinklage plays the late actor Hervé Villechaize, who was best known for his role as Tattoo in the TV series Fantasy Island. The character of Tattoo was most famous for excitedly shouting, “The plane! The plane!” whenever guests were arriving to the island. With that in mind, imagine how you would react if you were stranded on […]

Light Up a Room as Mary Did (Video)

How will people react when you enter a room this Christmas? Will something within them leap for joy, knowing that love has visited their home? Read the post that inspired this video: This Christmas, Light Up a Room as Mary Did.

Taste and See: Savoring the Liturgy

One of my favorite books in recent years is Thich Nhat Hanh’s Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, in which he introduces the concept of mindfulness—the practice of being fully present in each moment—as an approach to healthier eating and living. When we eat mindfully, we savor that which we are eating. To savor literally means to “give oneself to the enjoyment of.” It means to be mindful of that which we are eating and drinking—to unite […]

Third Week of Advent (Year C): This Is Really Happening! Wipe That Frown Off Your Face and Stop Worrying!

Welcome to the third installment of this series on the Scripture readings for Advent, Year C. I mentioned in the first installment that, as I reflected on the Advent Scripture readings, I thought of the image of castaways on a deserted island, feeling hopeless and abandoned. The readings for the First Week of Advent reassured us that “help is on the way,” and the readings for the Second Week of Advent told us that we […]

Downloadable Worksheet: Find the Signs and Symbols in Your Church

When children visit a church, they may see sculptures, paintings, objects, and gestures new to them but steeped in Church tradition. Help children begin to understand the Catholic imagery around them with this month’s downloadable activity, “Find the Signs and Symbols in Your Church.” Use the worksheet in the context of a classroom visit to the parish church, or invite children to complete it independently on Sunday. If children visit different churches throughout the year, […]

Let’s Stop the Catechetical Pendulum from Swinging!

Recently, I came across an article in America Magazine that caught my eye: “How Can We Strengthen Faith Formation Classes?” The article by Becca Meagher and Claire Shea, both ministering at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park, MN, makes a compelling argument for a more relevant and creative approach to adolescent catechesis. Permit me to begin by thanking Meagher and Shea for their excellent contribution to the ongoing conversation about effective catechesis. Perhaps the […]

Second Week of Advent (Year C): Pack Up Your Things, Come Out of Your Caves, and Light a Bonfire!

Welcome to our second installment of this series on the Scripture readings for Advent, Year C. I mentioned in the first installment that, as I reflected on the Advent Scripture readings, I thought of the image of castaways on a deserted island, feeling hopeless and abandoned. The readings for the First Week of Advent reassured us that “help is on the way!” The Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Advent tell us that, while […]

How Marian Feasts Teach Us About Jesus

As we approach the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, it is important to remind ourselves that Marian feasts are not primarily about Mary! In fact, the Blessed Virgin Mary would be the first to resist our efforts to draw attention to her. Her great Magnificat prayer proclaims that it is the Lord who is to be magnified. Like all Marian feasts, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is ultimately about Mary’s Son, […]

First Week of Advent (Year C): Help Is On the Way!

Welcome to the first installment of our Advent series for the 2019 liturgical year (Year C), which begins on Sunday, December 2, 2018. Each week, I will draw a theme from the Sunday Scripture readings, offer some reflections for your enrichment, and provide some suggestions and resources for bringing this theme to life in your learning setting. As I reflected on the Scripture readings for the Sundays of Advent this year, I thought of the […]

How the Gifts You Give Can Help “Keep Christ in Christmas”

You can always expect to receive certain kinds of Christmas presents from certain people. For example, I could always expect to receive gifts of some kind of clothing from my mom, because she felt it was her duty to keep me properly dressed. And she made no apologies for that! As catechists, we should make no apologies for offering gifts to others at Christmas that focus on the centrality of Christ. In other words, the gifts […]

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