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.

Feed the Catechists!

And I’m not just talking about food. Last night, I was with about 40 catechists from 2 different parishes and the interesting thing was that all but 2 of them were returning catechists! That rate of return is a testament to the care and support of their catechetical leaders who are both very professional and have outstanding vision for the catechetical ministry. They know how to “feed” their catechists. We catechists owe so much to […]

Planning the Calendar

I’ll be talking with my DRE today about finalizing the schedule (syllabus) for the year for grade 8. I know that both of us will have to resist the temptation to “try to do too much.” There’s so much great stuff packed into the textbook (Finding God, Loyola Press) and we also schedule a number of additional events that take us out of the classroom and into the Church, meaning that there’s just never enough […]

Publisher’s Websites

Today, catechists not only have excellent catechetical textbooks placed in their hands, but they also have access to quality Websites offered by the various publishers where additional resources can be accessed. The nice thing is, for many of these resources, you don’t have to be using that particular publisher’s textbook to gain access to. (Of course users of that publisher’s textbook have access to even more). Be sure to visit these Websites for quality resources […]

Knowing Our Students' Names

I’m terrible at remembering names! That’s why I work so hard at trying to get to know the names of my students on the first day of class. My inspiration comes from a college professor I had at Loyola University, a Jesuit priest, who brought in a Polaroid camera on the first day of class, arranged us in groups of 5 or 6 (the class had over 50 students!), took photos, and had us write […]

Letter from the DRE

Yesterday, I received a letter from my DRE reminding us about our first catechist meeting on August 27. In the letter, she included the following which I thought I’d share with you. Gifts for you to give to your students: CARE – Before beginning your planned lesson, ask your students about their week and how they’re doing. Listen carefully and caringly. HOPE – Tell your students about the good things that are going on in […]

Over 30 Years as a Catechist

Last night, I spent the evening with about 50 catechists from the O’Hare cluster of parishes (northwest side of Chicago and northwest suburbs) and had a wonderful time talking about the Old Testament with them. In the course of the evening, I met 2 catechists who have been serving in this ministry for over 30 years each! One had been a catechist for 33 years and another for 38 years! What a wonderful witness they […]

Off to College

My wife and I took our daughter to college today. Everything went well but needless to say my mind is not on catechesis at the moment. I’ll post tomorrow. God bless all of our children going back to school.

Teaching the Faith (Paulist Press)

Here’s my quick review of a little booklet for new catechists titled Teaching the Faith: A Catechist’s Guide to Classroom Management by Kim Duty (Paulist Press). This is a handy little guide that gives new catechists an opportunity to become acquainted with the world of classroom management. What I like about it is its “You can do this!” approach to the task of catechesis. In the Introduction, “From Me To You,” Duty offers a heartfelt message […]


Take a look at the very nice review of The Catechist’s Toolbox by Dan Pierson who has a blog named eCatechist. Thanks, Dan, for giving my book such a nice plug! I look forward to visiting your blog! I hope that as people dig into The Catechist’s Toolbox, we can discuss a myriad of issues here on my blog. The book is a starting point for ongoing discussion of our ongoing ministry. Please share your insights, […]

Guided Reflections

The other day, I wrote about leading children in reflective prayer or meditation. People often ask just what this “looks like.” I thought it would be helpful to share an example. The following guided reflection is from Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts, Grade 5 (Loyola Press): Called to Holiness Time: approximately 10 minutes We all have imagination. Imagination allows us to go places and to do things that might otherwise be impossible. Today […]

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