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.

The Triduum Is to the Liturgical Year as Sunday Is to the Week

One of the early inspirations in my ministerial career was Gabe Huck, a wonderful liturgist and warrior for social justice. At a workshop he gave years ago about the Triduum, he said, “The Triduum is to the liturgical year as Sunday is to the week.” Of course, Sunday, in Christian tradition, is a day “set apart” from the rest of the week, dedicated to worship, rest, and works of mercy. What Gabe Huck is suggesting, […]

Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to the great Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” I like to ask myself if what I have done or am doing presently serves to expand my soul or if it is diminishing it. I think that there are many things we do in life for recreation […]

Lent, a Time to (Re-)Learn the Story of Our Salvation—Part 3: Reassurance

Lent is a wonderful time for us to learn or to re-learn the story of our salvation, which is at the heart of our Baptism. How does one go about telling a story, however, that spans several millennia and encompasses 72 books (and thousands of pages) of Scripture? Actually, the entire story of our salvation can be summarized and captured in three words: rescue, restoration, and reassurance. During Lent, I invite you to join me […]

First Holy Communion Novena

Encourage families preparing a child to receive First Eucharist with a novena-style prayer to pray at home. Download the First Holy Communion Novena and make copies for parents, instructing them to begin praying 10 days before the day of First Holy Communion. Each day’s prayer time includes parts for children and parents, as well as a suggestion for a family practice for the next day. The text for the novena is from Christ Our Life, […]

The Cross Is Heavy…In So Many Ways

As we approach Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and the Triduum, our focus is increasingly on the Cross of Jesus Christ. On Holy Thursday, the entrance antiphon proclaims, “We should glory in the Cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ!” On Good Friday, we venerate the Cross. Throughout Lent, we have been praying the Stations of the Cross. Historians tell us that victims carried the crossbeam on their way to the site of crucifixion where upright “poles” […]

Teaching Children a Language of Mystery—Resource for Catechists and Parents

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you know that I have previously talked about the concept of a language of mystery. What is a language of mystery? It is a language that transcends words and relies on sign, symbol, ritual, song and music, silence, gesture, and movement. It is the language that God uses to communicate with his people. Think of how, in Scripture, God’s presence is manifested through a burning bush, a mighty […]

How Long Have You Been a Catechist? Let’s Hear Your Story!

Often, when I do presentations for catechists around the country, I ask my crowd, by show of hands, how long they have been a catechist: newbies? 1–5 years? 5–10 years? and so on. I’ll never forget how one woman, at a presentation in Texas, had her arm up through 40, 45, 50, and 55! I finally just asked her how long she had been a catechist, and she proudly announced, “60 years!” as the crowd […]

Lent, a Time to (Re-)Learn the Story of Our Salvation—Part 2: Restoration

Lent is a wonderful time for us to learn or to re-learn the story of our salvation, which is at the heart of our Baptism. How does one go about telling a story, however, that spans several millennia and encompasses 72 books (and thousands of pages) of Scripture? Actually, the entire story of our salvation can be summarized and captured in three words: the story of our salvation is one of rescue, restoration, and reassurance. […]

Celebrating the Annunciation: Finding Reassurance in Mary

March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, when we recall and celebrate the day that the angel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the Mother of our Lord (Luke 1:26–38). As I’ve mentioned here before, Marian feasts are ultimately about Jesus, since Mary seeks to draw attention, not to herself, but to her Son, Jesus, who brings us the Good News of rescue, restoration, and reassurance. Mary participates in […]

Catechists and Catechetical Leaders: How Often Do You Talk to One Another?

During my years at Loyola Press, I have had the joy of working with and reporting to a number of directors who can vouch for the fact that one of the first things I ask from them is a regular meeting (weekly or bi-weekly) to ensure that we have open and ongoing communication. Without such communication, any relationship suffers. So when it comes to catechists and catechetical leaders, I must ask the question: how often […]

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