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.

Re-Igniting the Post-Pandemic Church: Whatever You Do, Don’t Return to “Normal”!

I’m very excited to be partnering once again with my friend and collaborator Julianne Stanz, from the Diocese of Green Bay, to offer a timely and engaging webinar: Re-Igniting the Post-Pandemic Church: Whatever You Do, Don’t Return to “Normal”! Wednesday, June 16, 2021 1:30–3:30 p.m. Central Twenty years from now, what will people say about this time in history and how we responded as a Church? While we all long for some semblance of “normalcy,” […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Storytelling

We start today a new series, in which I will explore six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing. We begin with the art of storytelling, which just happened to be Jesus’ favorite way of teaching! “Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” This Native American proverb captures the essence of the power of […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Praying the Angelus

We live in a world of notifications! A notification is an icon, a vibration, a ding, or some other sound that pops up on an electronic device to let us know that something new has happened or to remind us about something. Before the world of electronic devices, one notification that Catholics relied on was church bells, which would ring, not only when Mass was beginning on Sunday, but also daily at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 […]

Using Ordinary Time to Get to Know the Saints

Most of us know how to observe four major seasons of the Church year—Lent, Easter, Advent, and Christmas. For example, we all know that during the 40 days of Lent, we pray, fast, and give alms. But how do we observe Ordinary Time? We sometimes erroneously think that Ordinary Time is less important (ordinary) than those aforementioned seasons (extraordinary). We need to remember that the word “ordinary” is used in this context in relation to […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: If I Were a Church Hymn

One of my favorite musicals of all time is Fiddler on the Roof. Of all the wonderful songs in that musical, my favorite is “If I Were a Rich Man,” in which Tevye dreams about what it would be like if he were a wealthy man. Over the years, I have borrowed from that title to engage people in a fun activity I call, “If I Were a Church Hymn.” In this activity, participants think […]

Accompaniment Is Ongoing

Imagine attending a concert featuring a solo vocalist accompanied by a keyboard player and, after the first song, the accompanist gets up and exits the stage and does not reappear for the remainder of the concert. So much for accompaniment! Too often, in our faith formation efforts, our accompaniment is short-lived. A family shows up at the parish to have their baby baptized, and we accompany them at the baptismal prep meeting and the Baptism. And […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Filling Your Home with Joy

The notion of a happy home can seem Pollyannish, given the complexities of family life in today’s very complicated world. Perhaps that’s because we tend to confuse the words happy and joyful. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that is influenced by exterior conditions, for instance sunshine makes me happy. But we all know that exterior conditions are not always favorable. Joy, on the other hand, is a deep-down gladness grounded in the love of Christ that […]

Why Catechists Should Care About the Ignatian Year

Five hundred years ago, a cannonball changed the world! It was on May 20, 1521, that Ignatius of Loyola was wounded in battle, a cannonball shattering his knee. During his long period of rehabilitation, Ignatius read the only literature available to him: books on Jesus and the lives of the saints. Upon reflection, he realized he was fighting for the wrong army and fighting the wrong battles. He eventually laid down his sword and dedicated […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Pentecost and Our Need for an Advocate

Some years ago, when I was serving as a catechist for an eighth-grade faith formation group, I was blessed to have an outstanding catechist aide. Let’s call her Mrs. Kelly. As it turns out, Mrs. Kelly was a nurse at nearby Advocate Christ Hospital. When it came time for us to teach about the coming of the Holy Spirit—our Advocate—on Pentecost, I asked Mrs. Kelly to describe her work as a nurse in pediatrics and how she […]

Pope Francis Announces Major Recognition of Lay Catechists

Pope Francis has announced that the role of catechist will now be recognized as a formal instituted ministry in the Church! While many, if not most Catholics, already considered the role of catechist to be a ministry, the Pope’s announcement in the apostolic letter Antiquum Ministerium raises it to a level of official recognition by the Church as an instituted ministry. The Pope’s letter making the role of catechist an official ministry in the Church is not […]

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