Understanding the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation – Evangelii Gaudium

By now, I’m sure you know that Pope Francis issued an extraordinary document last week, an Apostolic Exhortation – Evangelii Gaudium (ee-van-JEH-lee-ee GOW-dee-um). If you get a chance to read it on your own, I encourage you to, however, it is rather long. With that in mind, I thought I would give it a good read and then provide you with a summary, which you can access below. Evangelii Gaudium Summary by Joe Paprocki Also, […]

Welcome Pope Francis!!!

We rejoice at the announcement of the papacy of Francis I, a Jesuit Pope! The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenes Aires becomes our 266th pope and we join him in praying for unity and peace. I’m excited about him being a Jesuit since I work for a Jesuit ministry, Loyola Press, and attended Jesuit schools for 12 years! Ignatian spirituality resonates with so many people and it’s wonderful to have a pope who understands […]

A “Crash Course” on Papal Conclaves!

Last evening, I had only about 10 minutes with my 6th graders (after we attended a presentation in the gym) so I used the time to talk to them a little bit about the papal conclave. First, I asked if anyone knew what important event was happening in Rome beginning Tuesday and most of them knew that a new pope was being elected. Then, I asked if anyone knew the correct term for this event […]

Prayers for Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI on the Announcement of his Resignation

Just a few months ago, I read an interesting book titled The Pope Who Quit that tells the fascinating tale of the election and subsequent resignation of Pope Celestine V in 1294, the only pope to ever abdicate the Chair of St. Peter. That story provides a context for us to understand just how historic is the announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Given the significance of this moment, it is evident that our […]

Christmas Blessings to All!

I’d like to take this opportunity, before signing off for the holidays, to wish each and everyone of you a very blessed Christmas! May Jesus be born again in each of our hearts and, as catechists, may we help others to experience the birth of Christ in their lives. Here are a few words from our Holy Father that we can all take to heart: “Today, as in the time of Jesus, Christmas is not […]

Catechists and Spiritual Direction

At one time (and perhaps in the minds of many people still today), spiritual direction was considered something reserved for the “spiritual elite” – priests and religious. Today, more and more lay people are discovering the value of spiritual direction. I’ve been seeing a spiritual director for about 5 years now and find it extremely enriching. At a recent presentation I was giving, I asked catechists what they are doing for their own ongoing spiritual […]