Pope Francis encourages catechists to lead others to a personal encounter with Jesus

Vatican City, Jan 31, 2021 / 08:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis said Saturday that catechists have the vital responsibility of leading others to a personal encounter with Jesus through prayer, the sacraments, and Scripture.

“The kerygma is a person: Jesus Christ. Catechesis is a special space for fostering a personal encounter with Him,” Pope Francis said in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace Jan. 30.

“There is no true catechesis without the testimony of men and women in flesh and blood. Who among us does not remember at least one of his catechists? I do. I remember the nun who prepared me for my First Communion and was so good to me,” the pope added.

Pope Francis received an audience with some of the members of the National Catechetical Office of the Italian bishops’ conference at the Vatican.

He told the catechetical leaders that a catechist is a Christian who remembers that the important thing is “not to talk about himself or herself, but to talk about God, about His love and fidelity.”

“Catechesis is the echo of the Word of God … to transmit the joy of the Gospel in life,” the pope said.

“Sacred Scripture becomes the ‘environment’ in which we feel part of the same salvation history, encountering the first witnesses of faith. Catechesis is taking others by the hand and accompanying them in this history. It inspires up a journey, in which each person finds his or her own rhythm, because Christian life does not even out or standardize, but rather enhances the uniqueness of each child of God.”

Pope Francis recalled that St. Pope Paul VI had said that the Second Vatican Council would be “the great catechism of the new times.”

The pope went on to say that there is a problem today with “selectivity with respect to the Council.”

“The Council is the magisterium of the Church. Either you are with the Church and therefore you follow the Council, and if you do not follow the Council or you interpret it in your own way, as you wish, you are not with the Church. We must be demanding and strict on this point,” Pope Francis said.

“Please, no concessions to those who try to present a catechesis that does not agree with the Magisterium of the Church.”

The pope called catechesis “an extraordinary adventure” with the task of “reading the signs of the times and accepting present and future challenges.”

“Just as in the post-Council period the Italian Church was ready and able to embrace the signs and sensibilities of the times, so too today she is called to offer a renewed catechesis that inspires every area of pastoral care: charity, liturgy, family, culture, social life, economics,” he said.

“We must not be afraid to speak the language of the women and men of today. To speak a language that is outside the Church, yes, we must be afraid of that. [But] we must not be afraid to speak the language of the people,” Pope Francis said.

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  1. Through their selfless and humble efforts, catechists can inspire the catechumens to aim high. Catechists are yet to do justice to their enormous potential. May catechists be blessed with strength and stamina.

    • Why such a negative comment? It is this attitude often expressed here that i find often unnecessary in the context of the article. Perhaps you could elaborate as to why in reference to this article.

      • Perhaps you might remove the log from your own eye first. All of us here remember the hateful and slanderous posts you repestedly wrote on this site falsely accusing Cardinal Pell despite the absence of substantive evidence. That attitude was not only unnecessary, it was deeply sinful. So don’t worry about other people’s posts. Repent of your own sin first. You owe all of us an apology.

  2. Athanasius, firstly with all my posts regarding Cardinal Pell I repeatedly stated that only two people know the reality of what happened or didn’t happen with respect to the accusations for which he has now been aquitted. You think I was hateful because I added information that Mr Weigel choose to ignore in his selective commentary. You say ” All of us here remember the hateful and slanderous posts”. I say respond in a linear fashion to the content of my posts so we understand the others point even if we don’t agree. If a statement is backed up with independent verified references that should count for something. I am a Catholic who was born in 1955. I am post vatican two in my lived experience of fellowship in the church. I accept those who are in the church and who have a more traditional expression of worship.
    This article is essentially about a topic that interests me and the broader topic of how we the church evangelises in world where most have left the church and her teaching far behind. I read so much here that tells me that many here have no idea how to evangelise to a wounded, brocken world of people who are not in relationship with the author and giver of life. In these pages of the internet i often read contempt and disdain expressed not love.
    Show me were and how I owe you and “all here” an apology. Do the work and I will respond.

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