Advent: A Season of Anticipation

Years ago, a TV commercial effectively used Carly Simon’s song, “Anticipation” to accompany images of thick, rich ketchup slowly making its way to the opening of the bottle before being generously slathered on mouthwatering burgers and crispy French fries while a voice says, “Think of how good it’s gonna taste when it finally gets there!” The commercials ended with the claim that this ketchup has “the taste worth waiting for.” I can’t help but think […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: An Advent Jesse Tree

With the season of Advent soon upon us, I want to share about a great Advent tradition that you can do as a family: the making of a Jesse tree. The Jesse tree, named after the father of King David, helps us to connect the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the events in our salvation history that lead to Jesus’ birth. It is, in essence, Jesus’ family tree. We adorn a Jesse tree with […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Ordinary Time

In most sports, the playing calendar calls for a training season, a regular season, and a playoff season. The training season is focused on refining the skills needed for the regular season. The playoff season is the climax of the season’s competition, with the ultimate goal of achieving a championship. That leaves us with the regular season: the long stretch of time when players and teams are called to put their skills into practice on […]

There’s Nothing Ordinary About Ordinary Time

One of the most misunderstood concepts regarding the Church’s liturgical year is Ordinary Time. We tend to think of certain seasons of the Church year as special: Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. These seasons are indeed special. However, Ordinary Time is not referring to a season in which nothing special is happening. In fact, the Scripture readings teach us that there is nothing ordinary about Ordinary Time. Aware of God’s presence and continuing love, the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Easter and the Spiritual Works of Mercy, Part 2

All Christians are called to be a “Resurrection People,” and that means that in our thoughts, words, and actions, we are to embody and exemplify hope and joy and to share that with others, especially those experiencing despair. For this reason, the 50 days of Easter provide a wonderful opportunity for us to practice the Spiritual Works of Mercy—acts of compassion by which we help our neighbors with their emotional and spiritual needs. In a […]

Celebrating and Proclaiming Easter: But Wait, There’s More!

If, for some reason, authorities had to put out a description of me, it would say that Joe Paprocki is a white male with blue eyes, stands six feet tall, and weighs about 200 pounds. Except for some slight variations (I’d love if the weight were 190!), that information will remain the same as long as I’m alive. These are, more or less, permanent traits that identify me. The Easter season reminds us that one […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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