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.

Creating the “Aroma of the Gospel” Through Stories

In order to introduce people to Jesus Christ, it is incumbent on us catechists to tell the stories of Jesus’ amazing deeds, beginning with the stories we have in Scripture in which he opens the eyes of the blind, heals the sick, changes water into wine, calms the storm, and raises people from the dead. Too often, we rush to teach doctrinal concepts while those we’re teaching don’t even know the story of Jesus Christ! As catechists, […]

Living the Sacraments Prayer Cards

Each chapter of my newest book, Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth, includes a prayer, and I’m happy to share today a set of prayer cards with these prayers for each of the seven sacraments. These colorful cards can be shared with a reading group that’s discussing Living the Sacraments or Vivir los sacramentos, given to parents at a sacramental preparation meeting, or included in a catechist’s folder for […]

Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter: #4 Hold On Loosely

Welcome to the next post in our Easter series, “Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter,” drawing from my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. Today we explore the fourth tip, which is to “Hold On Loosely.” One of the most-read and most-loved books in recent Christian history is Henri Nouwen’s With Open Hands. This seminal book begins with Nouwen telling the story of an elderly woman in a psychiatric ward who […]

A Mother’s Day Reflection: Worry and Prayer Aren’t the Same Thing

It is common for mothers to worry about their children. Yes, of course, dads do as well, but a mother has a very special relationship with her children, and worry is part and parcel of that reality. In her blog post, “Mother’s Anxiety: How Motherhood Breeds Anxiety,” psychology professor Amy Przeworski, PhD, captures this notion: I thought I knew what high anxiety was before I became a mother, but upon learning that I was pregnant, I realized that […]

Mary, a Model for the Ministry of Catechesis (Video)

Mary, as the first and best catechist, provides a model for the ministry of catechesis. Julianne Stanz, author of Developing Disciples of Christ, says that three aspects of the life of Mary, drawn from Evangelii Gaudium, serve as a guide for our ministries. Read the complete post that inspired this video: Three Lessons from Mary, the First and Best Catechist. Find Marian resources here to help you honor Mary during May or throughout the year.

Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter: #3 Think Before Acting

Welcome to the next post in our Easter series, “Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter,” drawing from my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. Today we explore the third tip, which is, “Think Before You Act.” During Holy Week, we entered into the Passion of Jesus Christ—a story that is filled with drama, intrigue, violence, scandal, and betrayal. Two of the most interesting characters in the story are Peter and Judas. […]

My, How Long You’ve Been a Catechist! (Poll Results)

Thanks to so many of you for taking the time to answer our little poll about how long you have served as a catechist. An extra thank-you to those who shared such wonderful stories! More about those in a second. Of the 150+ respondents, nearly half (43%) indicated that they have served as a catechist for more than 25 years, while nearly a fifth (18%) have served for 16–25 years! This resonates with what I […]

Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter: #2 Delight in the Success of Others

Welcome to the second installment of my Easter series, “Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter,” which draws from my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. This week, we look at the practice of delighting in the success of others. We tend to see others as rivals. It’s just human nature, and it begins when we are very young and we compare ourselves with our siblings and friends. It bothers us when it seems […]

Instead of Giving Money as a Gift for First Holy Communion

I’ve touched on this issue before: the strange tradition we Catholics have of giving children money as a First Holy Communion gift. While a well-intentioned gesture, it makes little sense: “You’ve received the Body of Christ; now go out and buy something for yourself!” Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox, but not before suggesting an alternative gift idea. I suggest the wonderful Dear Pope Francis book (also available in Spanish) as a most fitting First […]

Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter: #1 See Yourself as You Really Are

Welcome to the first installment of our Easter series, “Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter,” drawing from my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. We begin by looking at the notion of “seeing yourself as you really are.” So much of the Resurrection narrative has to do with sight and perception. Mary Magdalene did not recognize the Risen Christ at first. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus did not […]

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