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.

My New Book: The Catechist's Toolbox

I’m so excited to have a new book being published exclusively for catechists!!! It’s called THE CATECHIST’S TOOLBOX: HOW TO THRIVE AS A RELIGIOUS EDUCATION TEACHER (Loyola Press). The book provides skills, tips, and advice that catechists can use right now to become a more effective catechist. The book will actually be available in June but I know that Loyola Press has order forms available at the NCCL Conference in Columbus, Ohio (April 22-26) for […]

Jesus' "First" Words

A lot of attention is often given to peoples’ last words. In the Christian tradition, we focus on the 7 last words of Christ. During this Easter season, I think it is crucial that we pay attention to the Risen Christ’s “first” words – following the Resurrection. “PEACE BE WITH YOU.” These words are so important for us to hear, especially in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre. What this world needs is peace […]

Helping Children to Cope with Disaster

We all struggle to deal with tragic and terrible events such as the shooting spree at Virginia Tech on April 16. It is especially important to be aware of how children may be affected by such violent realities. As catechists, we can provide comfort, reassurance and stability. The shooting at Virginia Tech will be the “Columbine” for the children we are teaching. Witnessing television reports about such violent events can result in fear and confusion. […]

Believing is Seeing

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Seeing is believing.” This is pretty much what the apostle Thomas was saying in response to the other apostles who had encountered the Risen Lord. Thomas wanted and needed something tangible to put his faith in. In many ways, Thomas is symbolic of the age we live in. More and more, people are putting their faith and trust into that which is material and tangible. Pope Benedict XVI addresses this […]

The Harvest is Here!

What harvest am I speaking of? The harvest of new Catholics, that is! In the period following the Easter Vigil, many RCIA leaders introduce their new Catholics to various parish ministries, including catechesis. I know of many catechists who began participating in this ministry shortly after going through RCIA. Some of you veteran catechists may be invited to speak to the RCIA group about your vocation as a catechist. Some of you new Catholics may […]

This is a Job for Catechists!

In recent comments, Pope Benedict XVI urged all Catholics to accept the call to search for Christ and witness and spread the good news of his Resurrection to the world with zeal.  This sounds like a job for catechists!  Of course all Catholics are called to do this, but as catechists, we are at the forefront of this effort.  The Pope explained that, “we are called to be witnesses to the death and resurrection of […]

The Secret vs. The Passion

A good friend of mine sent this to me in response to my April 8 post on The Secret: I was just in Borders on Good Friday to purchase the Passion of the Christ with my mother, and as we were checking out, the book/DVD (The Secret) was there on the counter.  The clerk was promoting it to us as the latest findings on how to live a happy and peaceful life.   I just laughed […]

The Law of Love – It's No Secret

Happy Easter to all! I was overwhelmed at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday at the Gospel Acclamation which was so joyful and thunderous. It occurred to me that we have no secrets as Christians. What we have is mystery but we PROCLAIM it loudly to the world. As catechists, we do not pass on a secret…we proclaim the mystery of faith revealed to us in the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This is […]

A Blessed Triduum to All!

In observance of the Triduum, I will not post over the next few days. I’ll meet you back here on the “other side” of the Paschal Mystery! Have a blessed Triduum and a Happy Easter!

Catholic Universities Should Accept Catholics!

My niece has gone to Catholic schools all her life (kindergarten through senior year high school). She is the number 1 student in her senior class at her Catholic high school. She is involved in student government and in a variety of other extra-curriculars. She is involved in her parish. She is selflessly involved in community service. Despite all of this, her number one choice, Notre Dame, has rejected her application. What sense does it […]

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