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: What’s in Your Trophy Case?

In many of our homes, we can find a display of trophies and medals representing our accomplishments or those of our children. A trophy is a symbol of victory, of triumph over all opponents. As Catholics, we traditionally display a “trophy” of the ultimate victory: the Cross of Jesus Christ, which celebrates his victory over sin and Death. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we prepare for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross […]

Catechetical Sunday 2020: Commissioning Our COVID-Era Catechists

This year, like any other year, we celebrate Catechetical Sunday on the third Sunday of September. This year, however, is unlike any other year as we will be commissioning catechists to teach during the COVID-19 pandemic and to cope with all of the complexities that go with it. Some will be teaching in person, others will be teaching remotely, some will be doing a mix of both, and others may be assisting parents in teaching […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Make a Wish and Blow Out the Candles

Among the many traditions that are part of a birthday celebration is that of the celebrant making a wish and blowing out the candles. This tradition most likely has its roots in ancient Greece, when people would offer cakes and candles as an offering to the gods. It was believed that the smoke rising from the blown-out candles carried the offering to the gods. On September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin […]

Old Testament Timeline Activity

Explore some of the Old Testament stories we hear during Ordinary Time with the help of our Old Testament Timeline Activity. This one-page sheet for children pairs the engaging art of Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories with an activity to engage logical/mathematical learners. Pull out the glue and scissors, and look at stories from Isaac, Jacob, and Esau to the wise King Solomon. Use your Bible or the Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories […]

Tips for Catechists Doing Faith Formation Remotely (Video)

As a catechist, it’s possible you’re being asked to teach faith formation lessons online this fall due to the ongoing pandemic or as a new approach to doing faith formation in your parish or diocese. Either way, if you’re new to this concept of facilitating remote lessons, I am pleased to share the following free video with you. It offers some basic tips to get you started proclaiming the Good News of Jesus in the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Our Hearts Are Restless

One of the things that I get a kick out of when watching our grandchildren is seeing how restless they can get—and knowing that eventually we will return those restless children to their parents to deal with! On a spiritual level, we never really outgrow that restlessness. We continually seek rest or fulfillment in any number of things. In reality, as St. Augustine famously wrote, “our hearts are restless, Lord, until they find rest in you.” […]

Register Now for a Presentation by Julianne Stanz and Joe Paprocki on the New Directory for Catechesis

The new Directory for Catechesis is here, and it’s time to unpack the wealth of information and inspiration this document offers to all of us in the catechetical ministry. I’d like to help with that and can think of no better catechetical expert to join me than Julianne Stanz, author, speaker, and Director of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay, WI. Please join us for this exciting experience: How the New Directory for […]

Professional Development Workshop: Reclaiming the Fire

In her book, Start with Jesus, friend, author, speaker, and evangelist Julianne Stanz states that “too often our approach to our faith lacks the fire or energy that it deserves,” and she issues a call for us to “reclaim the fire.” Faith formation programs can provide the spark needed to ignite this blaze! In a new, free professional development workshop, Reclaiming the Fire: Six Keys to Making Our Faith Formation More Evangelizing—which can be found below—I offer […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Celebrating the Queenship of Mary

One of the traditional characteristics of royalty is someone who leads an army into battle. Before Israel had a king, they would go into battle led by the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the presence of Almighty God in their midst. Eventually, the Ark of the Covenant was lost to history. However, Christians see Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the new “Ark of the Covenant”—one who bears within her the presence of the […]

Helping Parents with Faith Formation at Home

We ended the last catechetical year with many parishes asking parents to work with their children at home on faith formation because of the pandemic. Our hopes were, of course, that we would soon see a return to normalcy and that, come fall, young people and catechists could once again resume in-person sessions of faith formation at the parish. Alas, those hopes have been dashed in many parts of the country where the pandemic lingers […]

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