VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy, Day 6: The Tomb of St. Peter

After all of the VIRTUAL walking we did on the first several days of our VIRTUAL pilgrimage to Italy, my VIRTUAL feet were a tad tired! It was nice to sit yesterday at the International Conference for Catechists and to soak up so much wisdom concerning the catechetical ministry. Wasn’t Pope Francis wonderful? I love his comment about not keeping Jesus to ourselves lest we become like statues in a wax museum “and we have […]

Summary of Session Two (9/24/13) – Mass and Bible Basics

First of all, thanks to those folks who were concerned because they thought I actually flew home from Italy to teach my class and then fly back! I guess a few folks missed my emphasis on the word VIRTUAL in reference to the pilgrimage to Italy! I’m not on the actual pilgrimage but am conducting a VIRTUAL pilgrimage so that we can, in some small way, share in the experience of those pilgrims who actually […]

Session Two – September 24, 2013: Mass and Bible Basics

Wow! I had to rush home from my VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy to get ready for my class tonight! Thankfully, cyberspace was pretty clear so I made good time! This evening will be my 2nd class with the 6th graders at St. Cajetan. One new feature that the parish is trying this year is to bring the young people to church once per month for Mass. This is a wonderful way to initiate young people […]

The Engaged Catechist: Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In his book, Growing An Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman explains that, without true engagement, volunteers burn out quickly. He identifies 3 ways to make an immediate impact on the level of engagement of church members: clarify the expectations of membership help your members discover what they do best create small groups I think these can (and should) be easily applied to catechists, who, without engagement, do indeed burnout quickly. Those catechists who […]

A Summer of Faith During the Year of Faith

The Year of Faith that we have been celebrating continues through November, 2013. The summer months present an excellent time for marking the Year of Faith, perhaps in a more leisurely manner such as over the course of several weeks. Here’s a resource that can help your parish do just that:                     Days of Faith conveniently provides everything you need to host a mini-retreat or faith-formation […]

Having Students Set Goals – Developing New Habits

I’ve been talking the last few posts about helping those we teach to develop new habits, inspired by a book titled The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. One of the things the author talks about is the importance of people taking ownership of the process of developing new habits, beginning with the notion of setting goals for themselves. By setting goals for yourself, you internalize motivation (as opposed to all of the motivation having […]

Ends With a Whimper, Not a Bang

Alas, the catechetical year with my 6th graders ended with more of a whimper than a bang last evening! Suffice it to say that their eagerness to be done with Monday night religious education sessions outweighed any anguish they were feeling about not seeing Mr. Paprocki any more! 🙂 Part of the problem stemmed from the usual shenanigans that one encounters when supervising a large group of pre-adolescents attending Mass on a Monday evening after […]

Lenten Family Mission – Mary, Seat of Wisdom Parish, Park Ridge, IL

This week, I have had the privilege of preaching a Lenten Family Mission at Mary, Seat of Wisdom parish in Park Ridge, IL, on the theme of the Mass (drawing from my book, Living the Mass). It has been an extraordinary experience of grace and I thank the good people of the parish for their strong turnout each evening of the Mission. Last night, I focused on the Liturgy of the Word and how it […]

How To Host a DAY OF FAITH During This YEAR OF FAITH

Many people have been asking about what they can do in their local parish to mark this Year of Faith. In response, I’ve put together a new resource that you can use called DAYS OF FAITH! This is a kit that contains everything you need to host a faith formation event in your own parish during Lent or some other time of this Year of Faith. In this kit, I share 4 PowerPoint® presentations – each 60-minutes […]

Bible Basics Learning Stations: READY!!!

And finally, here are the 4 Bible Basics Learning Stations for this coming Monday evening’s session. That brings us to a total of 12 learning stations: 4 Old Testament; 4 New Testament; and 4 Bible Basics (below)! Bible Basics Learning Station – How to Find Things in the Bible Bible Basics Learning Station – Bible Timeline Bible Basics Learning Station – How Catholics Understand the Bible Bible Basics Learning Station – The Bible at Mass […]

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