Catechists need passion and creativity to beat new paths

passion and creativity to beat new paths

Catechesis is a tradition that is lived from heart to heart, from mind to mind, life to life.

Pope Francis made the comments while participants in a meeting promoted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation on Friday.

He was following up on the comments he made at St Martin’s Cathedral, Bratislava during his pastoral visit to Slovakia.

Urging catechists to face their task with the passion, drive and creativity of the Holy Spirit, he reminded them of Saints Cyril, Methodius and Boniface who beat new paths, invented new languages, new “alphabets”, to transmit the Gospel, for the inculturation of the faith.

Francis said this “requires knowing how … to listen to the peoples to whom one is proclaiming: listening to their culture, their history; … to truly listen, and to compare those cultures, those languages, even and above all the unspoken, the unexpressed, with the Word of God, with Jesus Christ, the living Gospel.”

The great European Christian tradition must not become a historical relic, Francis emphasised, recalling comments he made in Slovakia earlier in the week.

Urging catechists to be passionate and creative; with the impetus of the Holy Spirit, Francis said tradition is either alive or it is not and if it is not alive it is a relic.

In his view, evangelisation is the most urgent task of the Church among the peoples of Europe.

Francis said the catechist needs to free themselves allow themselves to embrace the reality they find, and then transmit the Gospel with great creativity.

If they don’t do this, they are not catechists, he said.

“We must insist on indicating the heart of catechesis: the risen Jesus Christ loves you and never abandons you! We can never tire or feel we are being repetitive about this first proclamation in the various stages of the catechetical process,” he said.

Francis says, in May, he instituted the new ministry of catechist hoping it would help “awaken this vocation” in people called to serve the Catholic Church as teachers of the faith.

At present the rite for the ‘creation’ of catechists is being prepared by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, he said.

Francis said Catechesis should not be understood as “an abstract communication of theoretical knowledge to be memorized as like mathematical or chemical formulas.

“It is rather the mystagogical experience of those who learn to encounter their brothers and sisters where they live and work, because they themselves have met Christ, who has called them to become missionary disciples”.


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