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.
Fellow catechist Denise sends along these top reasons for becoming a catechist (she wrote these without seeing my list from yesterday): A common recruitment answer is that you’ll learn more about the Catholic faith by teaching it. That’s certainly true, but my experience has been more that I gain new insights on knowledge already floating around my brain, new ways of looking at faith. The kids draw out those insights, and do it in such […]
At this time of the year, many Catholics find themselves considering an invitation to become a catechist in their parish. Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education/Faith Formation, Pastoral Associates, Priests, and Deacons are all “on the prowl” seeking out those who have the potential to serve in this role. Perhaps you’ve been invited to be a catechist. Perhaps you know someone who is thinking about becoming a catechist. Or perhaps you are the one doing the inviting. […]
I’m not one for believing that Jesus and Mary “appear” in tree barks, potato chips, window panes, and grease stains. We hear these kinds of stories on the news from time to time, of people seeing the image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary in the most unlikely places. I DO however, believe that it tends to be a Catholic phenomenon because Catholics are taught to see in a unique way. In a sense, […]
Pope Benedict XVI recently told bishops from Slovakia (June 15) that “only by helping young people make a connection between their Christian faith and everyday life can the Church help youths resist the temptations and illusions of consumerism.” I believe this is our sacred duty as catechists. Unless faith connects with daily living, it will remain a “subject” or “topic” for our young people instead of a way of life. What does this mean practically […]
My new book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher is on Amazon.com for pre-ordering! Hint: bulk purchases will be much cheaper from Loyola Press…I’ll let you know when you can purchase online from LP, should you wish to buy in bulk (10 or more). In the meantime, you can call customer service at 800-621-1008.
Acknowledging that God has no gender and with respect and sensitivity to those who prefer not to use male metaphors for talking about God, I’d like to offer a few thoughts about God on this Father’s Day weekend. (I have no doubt that everything I’m about to say could have been said on Mother’s Day too…I just didn’t think of it then and, being a father myself, these thoughts come more naturally to me!) So […]
The other day, my wife and I took our daughter to register for her first year of college at the University of Illinois, Champaign. Everything went very well and she got all of the classes she needed and we got to see a lot of the campus as well. While she was in the building registering, my wife and I had a chance to scope the grounds and find the Catholic Center! We weren’t about […]
It occurred to me that, as catechists, we teach a different way of knowing. Certainly we teach knowledge but we also teach wisdom which is a different way of knowing. Jesus said that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (MK 12:30). We are called to teach others to do just that and I think it is important to realize that the mind is only one way of knowing. […]
Here is a wonderful testimonial about my new book, The Catechist’s Toolbox (Loyola Press). This endorsement was written by Sr. Judy Dieterle, Associate Director of the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Thanks Sr. Judy! Over many years now as an Archdiocese we have provided training for new catechists as they step before their first group of learners. Our “handout” packet was continually growing, along with major concerns about destruction […]
I’ve run across a story in the last couple of days about a group of Salesian nuns in San Antonio who are praying for the Spurs in the NBA finals. It makes for a fun story but there’s a part of me that bristles. My personal reaction is, “so what?” Stories like this pop up every so often. In Chicago, they pop up whenever the Cubs or Bears are in the playoffs…which isn’t often!) The […]