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: Exploring the Value of Altruism

Being approximately 99% Polish (according to Ancestry.com), I have always taken a special interest in prominent Polish figures throughout history. One of my favorites is the famous 16th-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who was the first to propose a model that showed that the planets orbit the sun rather than the earth, as was previously believed. Inspired by his work, the phrase “Copernican revolution” has become commonplace for describing someone who needs to be less self-centered. […]

Cannonball Moments, Lent, and the Call to Repent

On May 20, 1521, Ignatius of Loyola was wounded in battle, a cannonball shattering his leg. During his long period of rehabilitation, Ignatius had very little to distract him and was immobilized for a long stretch of time. With nothing else to do, he 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 […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Exploring the Value of Compassion

As kids, most of us dream of finding a buried treasure, something of great value. We use the word values to refer to those beliefs and principles that we believe are most important for guiding the way we live and work and treat ourselves and others. Lent is a great time to reflect on our values and to reshape them so that we truly treasure, or value, that which God treasures and values most. In this […]

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Adopts the Catechetical Formation Series for Basic Catechist Formation

For many years, the catechetical efforts of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been guided by the steady hand of Ann Menna, who just recently retired. (Congratulations, Ann!) I’m proud to say that one of Ann’s last actions as Director in Philly was to adopt the Loyola Press Catechetical Formation Series for basic catechist formation in the Archdiocese. I developed the Catechetical Formation Series as an online training and formation experience for catechists and others seeking to deepen […]

Lent as a Thin Place: Embracing Our Brokenness

One of my favorite musical performers was the late Leonard Cohen, and one of my favorite songs by him is “Anthem.” In the refrain of this wonderful song, Cohen shares this profound truth: Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in Indeed, it is through the “cracks”—our brokenness—that the light gets in. It is this same truth that […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Lent and Following Our Inner Compass

Just as the magnetized needle of a compass is naturally drawn to face north (the Earth’s magnetic pole), each of us is naturally drawn toward God. However, throughout the year, our attention is drawn by other things. Lent is a time for us to “turn around” and to once again allow ourselves to be drawn to God. Through praying, fasting, and giving alms, we focus our attention on God, to whom we are naturally drawn. […]

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search

During the season of Lent, we reflect on the suffering and Death of Jesus. This is a good time to introduce or review the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. In addition to teaching children how to pray the Rosary, invite them to do a Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search. Download the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search reproducible and answer key using the form below. Introduce the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary […]

Bilingual Faith Formation with Enhanced Multimedia: Encontrando a Dios

I’ve shared previously about the enhanced media that is integral to the newest edition of Finding God Grades 1–6—the outstanding Loyola Press faith formation curriculum that is imbued with Ignatian spirituality. I’ve also shared about the same in Finding God Grades 7–8. Now, I am excited to announce that enhanced multimedia is available for families with two languages: English and Spanish! The newest edition of Encontrando a Dios/Finding God Grades 1–6 invites everyone to recognize God’s presence through the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Marks of the Church

When advertising, businesses will often boast about specific qualities that they possess as a way of distinguishing themselves from their competition. Thus, it is common to see words such as the following splashed all over their ads: bold, innovative, trustworthy, original, authentic, cutting-edge, high-quality, and user-friendly. In a similar way, the Catholic Church uses four words to describe its distinguishing features: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore these […]

Our 15th Anniversary Giveaway: Preparing Hearts and Minds

Thank you to everyone who played along in our online scavenger hunt last month, celebrating 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 Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith. In Preparing Hearts and Minds, I revisit how the early Church introduced people to Jesus Christ, identifying nine strategies […]

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