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 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 […]

It’s a Wonderful Life as an Easter Story

Every Christmas season, we have many opportunities to watch the Christmas classics, one of the most popular of which is the 1946 movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, with James Stewart and Donna Reed. While that heart-warming story is indeed suitable for Christmas, I can’t help but think that it is even more appropriate for Easter! Think about it: Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ—a celebration of the transformation of suffering and […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Blessing of Easter Foods

One of my favorite traditions at Easter is the blessing of Easter foods and baskets on Holy Saturday. When I was a kid growing up in a predominantly Polish parish in Chicago, my siblings and I annually lugged several baskets full of the best-smelling Easter foods to the parish hall on Holy Saturday for the blessing of Easter foods known as the Święconka (shveeyen-TSON-kah). Many parishes continue this tradition on Holy Saturday; however, there is […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Keeping Christ in Easter

When it comes to the 40 days of Lent, most of us have an idea of what to do during this season: pray, fast, and give alms. But what about the 50 days of Easter? What do we do during the Easter season to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus? Of course we continue to pray, and almsgiving is always in season. Instead of fasting, we feast (not to be confused with gluttonous behavior). But what […]

Easter Season Prayer Cards

Focus on the first disciples this Easter season by downloading our free prayer cards. Each card includes a short prayer asking for the intercession of one of the disciples who encountered Jesus in the days and weeks after the Resurrection. With prayers addressing St. Mary Magdalene, St. Peter, St. Thomas, and more, these cards draw our attention to the early disciples and serve as a great reminder that these holy men and women have lessons […]

Keeping Christ in Easter

While we are accustomed to hearing the phrase, “Keep Christ in Christmas,” I think the bigger challenge is keeping Christ in Easter. After all, even secular society seems to enjoy or at least tolerate nativity scenes; no one feels threatened by a newborn baby. I always thought it would be interesting, however, if Christians decorated their homes for Easter by putting a scene of the empty tomb in front of their homes with figures of […]

Teaching About the Resurrection

Not long ago during class, a student said, “But Jesus was just a ghost.” I immediately explained that Jesus wasn’t a ghost, but that he had truly risen from the dead. This experience reminded me that we can’t assume our students understand what the Resurrection really means. I want them to understand that Jesus was truly dead and rose to life again. I begin by using a picture book that combines the Gospel accounts of […]

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