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.

Pop-Up Catechesis: Easter and the Spiritual Works of Mercy, Part 1

The 50 days of the Easter season provide us with plenty of time to spread the hope and joy of the Risen Christ to others. One of the ways that we do this is by performing Spiritual Works of Mercy. While the Corporal Works of Mercy aim to help our neighbors with their material and physical needs, the Spiritual Works of Mercy aim to help people with their emotional and spiritual needs. All works of […]

Sharing the Wisdom of Time Through Storytelling: Ann Menna

Over the years here at Catechist’s Journey, I have emphasized the importance of storytelling in the catechetical ministry. To that end, I am happy to share examples of people sharing their stories inspired by the book, Sharing the Wisdom of Time, which, in turn, inspired the Netflix series, Stories of a Generation with Pope Francis. In this video, Ann Menna, Deputy Secretary of Catechetical Formation for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, shares her reflections on the […]

Doing Arts and Crafts Projects in Short Class Times

Most catechists experience the crunch of time when teaching, knowing that they have a great deal of content to convey to their participants in a very short time. Sometimes, the notion of incorporating an arts and crafts project in a lesson just seems impossible given the time constraints! Thankfully, over the years, I’ve heard of a number of suggestions from catechists about how to accomplish this. Here are a few of their ideas: Provide children […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Easter and the Joy of Moving Forward

It’s interesting to note that, in a number of the post-Resurrection stories in the Gospels, Jesus’ disciples are stuck in the past. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus lament, “We were hoping.” (Luke 24:21) Peter is well-aware of his denial of knowing Jesus, when the Risen Christ asks him, “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15) The Apostles are locked away in the upper room, paralyzed by fear and aware that […]

Sent to Evangelize Prayer Celebration

Schedule a prayer celebration to help young people reflect on their role in evangelization and accept their mission to evangelize. Our “Sent to Evangelize” prayer service takes its focus from Matthew 28:16–20 and includes roles for multiple readers. The accompanying Commitment Cards are a concrete reminder for young people to take to heart their role as disciples. The prayer celebration is from Christ Our Life, Grade 8. Use battery-operated candles if traditional candles are not […]

Easter Season as a Time to Delight in Nature

The story of Jesus’ Resurrection tells us that he was buried in a tomb located in a garden (John 19:41). According to the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (IVP), throughout Scripture, the image of a garden represents both nature and a sacred space (representing heaven, the “place” where God dwells, the focus of human longing or life at its fullest, a way of life and a state of the soul). Of course, the Book of Genesis […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Feasting More Than Fasting

In the Church year, Easter, our season of feasting, is longer than Lent, our season of fasting! While the 40 days of Lent lay out a program of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we often don’t seem to have a game plan for how to celebrate the 50 days of Easter. I suggest that we focus on the concept of “feasting” during the 50 days of Easter. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore six […]

Our 15th Anniversary Giveaway: 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness

We continue our year-long celebration of the 15th anniversary of the launch of Catechist’s Journey and publication of The Catechist’s Toolbox. Our celebration continues today with the chance to win a copy of my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness: Enriching Your Faith by Strengthening the Health of Your Soul. In 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness, I invite readers to explore seven practical ways to maintain spiritual wellness and avoid pitfalls to our spiritual wellbeing. […]

It’s a Wonderful Life as an Easter Story

Every Christmas season, we have many opportunities to watch the Christmas classics, one of the most popular of which is the 1946 movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, with James Stewart and Donna Reed. While that heart-warming story is indeed suitable for Christmas, I can’t help but think that it is even more appropriate for Easter! Think about it: Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ—a celebration of the transformation of suffering and […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Blessing of Easter Foods

One of my favorite traditions at Easter is the blessing of Easter foods and baskets on Holy Saturday. When I was a kid growing up in a predominantly Polish parish in Chicago, my siblings and I annually lugged several baskets full of the best-smelling Easter foods to the parish hall on Holy Saturday for the blessing of Easter foods known as the Święconka (shveeyen-TSON-kah). Many parishes continue this tradition on Holy Saturday; however, there is […]

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