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.

Gratitude for our Seasoned Catechists!

A catechist named Fran sent this comment along to include in our discussion of reasons for becoming a catechist: One of the best reasons to be a catechist, for me, is that the children provide me with energy and hope. Sometimes people think they are too old to be a catechist, but young people need to have that experience we come with. I’m not sure just how old Fran is (I’m trying to find out!) […]

Another Top Ten

A DRE in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Matt Furjanic, published a nice article in his parish bulletin titled “Top 10 Ways to Help Your Child Get the Most of His/Her Religious Education Sessions.” Nice job, Matt! Take an active interest in your child’s work – review lessons together, look in your child’s folder each week when he/she brings it home. Help your child complete any homework assignments. Post papers/artwork on the refrigerator or bulletin […]

Read the Student Book First

I just got this advice from a DRE friend who tells me that she always gives her catechists the student book first before she gives them their catechist manual. She instructs them to read through the student book to get a feel for the flow of the book and the content and flavor. Then and only then does she distribute the catechist manual which helps to unpack the content of the student book. That makes […]

237 Reasons to Have Sex

Psychologists at the University of Texas have released the results of a study of nearly 2000 people that identifies 237 reasons why people have sex. Now I know that there are lots of things about the results of this survey that are bothersome, not the least of which is the casual approach to pre-marital and extra-marital sex that is so prevalent in our culture. However, I’d like to focus on a different perspective. I’m bracing […]

St. Ignatius of Loyola – A Catechist

Today is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. When we talk about Ignatius, we tend to focus on either spirituality, missionary work, or higher education. What is often lost in all of this is the fact that Ignatius was a catechist! He and his followers regularly gathered children in the churches and squares of Rome to offer instruction on the basics of Christianity. So on this feast of St. Ignatius, we renew our […]

Responses to Why People Hesitate to Become a Catechist

Amy G., a religious education coordinator in N.J., wrote the following bulletin article, offering responses to my list of reasons why people hesitate to become a catechist. Nice job, Amy! Thanks for letting me share it here! Maybe being a catechist is something you feel God is calling you to, but you’ve got some reservations.  Joe Paprocki, a former Director of Religious Education and current 8th grade catechist came up with some reasons why he […]

The God Delusion

I’ve been reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, a professed atheist and I must say I am very disappointed. His tone is so bitter and the way he speaks of people of faith is so belittling that I find nothing compelling in his stance. Not that I want to be compelled! However, I was under the impression that his book was an attempt to offer a logical and practical argument for atheism but it […]

Encountering Former Students

One of the rewards of being a catechist or a teacher of any kind is meeting former students. We always talk about sowing the seeds of faith with those we teach. It’s nice to see how some of those seeds have “sprung” as the years have gone by! Over the last 2 evenings at Theology on Tap, I bumped into 2 former students of mine, both of whom are now engaged in training in the […]

Catechist Witness Talks

On Sunday, I attended Mass at St. Emily parish in Mount Prospect, immediately before my Theology on Tap presentation. After Communion, a young man (probably in his twenties), came up to the microphone and gave a witness talk about his calling as a catechist. He did an excellent job of talking about the need for catechesis and the spiritual growth that comes with serving as a catechist. He also extended a powerful invitation to folks […]

Defending Your Right to Catechesis

I’ve been reminding my young adult audiences at Theology on Tap that, according to the Code of Canon Law, they have a right to sound catechesis! All too often, young adults (and for that matter, adults in general) are neglected when it comes to offering catechesis which is to be a lifelong endeavor and not relegated to a childhood experience. Many young adults are surprised to discover that catechesis is their right according to canon law. […]

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