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.

Momentarily Stumped and a Missed Opportunity

Last night’s session was excellent. We focused on the Cross of Jesus and how Catholics understand the role of suffering in our lives. Lots of good questions including one that stumped me momentarily. I had asked the young people what could possible transform the image of a crucified man into a symbol of victory. Eventually one of them responded correctly that Jesus’ Resurrection transformed the Cross into our symbol of victory over sin and death. […]

The Cross – Our Trophy

For my session tonight, I’m bringing in the one and only trophy I ever won in my life: a 2nd place trophy for floor hockey, earned when I was in junior high. My brother John and I ventured over to the Boys’ Club in our neighborhood and joined a team there and went all the way to the finals, coming up just a little bit short. The little 10-inch trophy stands proudly in my basement […]

Passing on the Faith

I’m interested in picking up a new book titled Passing on the Faith: Transforming Traditions for the Next Generation of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (edited by James L. Heft, S.M., Fordham University Press). The book is reviewed by Thomas Groome in the October 15, 2007 issue of America magazine. it is a collection of essays from a symposium held at the University of Southern California that asked the question, “how do we pass on religious […]

Next Session: The Cross of Jesus / The Rosary

Tomorrow I’m off to Milwaukee for their Lifelong Faith Formation Conference…I’m presenting a session on the Old Testament. I did a quick look ahead to this coming Monday’s session and I find that we will be focusing on the Cross of Jesus and our understanding of suffering. Our textbook points out the fact that vivid portrayals of the Crucifixion did not become commonplace until Middle Ages when suffering was so prevalent in the lives of […]

Tough Crowd!

Remember how Rodney Dangerfield would always use the line, “tough crowd, I tell ya, tough crowd”? Kevin Dooley via Compfight Well that’s how I felt after last night’s class! The kids were pretty wired for some reason. I think it had to do with the fact that they had the day off from the school district and spent the day at the mall drinking slurpies (sugar) and Pepsi (caffiene)! Having a fire drill 15 minutes […]

Catholics are Environmentalists

What does the environment have to do with being a Catholic catechist?  Plenty! The Catholic Conservation Center reminds us that “long before the current ecological movement developed, saints taught respect for all of God’s Creation.” The Center goes on to say: Since its inception, the Church has instructed us on the proper dominion and stewardship of Creation.  This wisdom is made known to us through sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church, the message […]

It's All About Jesus!

On my train ride this morning, I saw a marquee for a church that announced, “It’s All About Jesus!” I realized right then and there that this is the theme of my class this upcoming Monday evening! We’re beginning the unit on Jesus and, in essence, focusing on the notion that, for us Christians, it’s all about Jesus. By the way, in my last class, one of my students asked, “what’s the difference between Catholics […]

Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Greetings to all the good folks up in Rice Lake, Wisconsin! I was up there Tuesday and Wednesday for the Diocese of Superior Fall Conference, doing a couple of workshops on “Teaching to Generation Me.” Some of you may recall that a few months back, I did a series of posts on a book titled “Generation Me” by Jean Twenge, M.D. and offered some thoughts on how catechists can respond to the unique challenges this […]

October – The Month of the Holy Rosary

Let’s not forget that October is the Month of the Holy Rosary. I’ve spent some time on previous posts talking about reflective prayer, aka, meditation. The Rosary is a unique form of meditation for Catholics. By focusing on the mysteries – events in the lives of Jesus and Mary – we encounter the Lord in a special way, through the intercession of Mary. It occurs to me now that praying the Rosary with my 8th […]

The Diary of a Long-Suffering Cubs' Fan

Please permit me a day off from being a catechist (we have no class tonight…Columbus Day) so that I can share my reflections on the demise of the 2007 Cubs. Alas, Lucy has pulled the football away from Charlie Brown once again, just when we thought that maybe, just maybe, this will be the time that he’ll finally get to kick that ball! Don’t we know any better? Like Jeremiah, we Cubs’ fans are lamenting (and […]

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