La Salette Missionaries, Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas

Pope Francis on Catechesis as a Vocation

Untitled 1Francis of Assisi by Cimabue (Cenni di Pepo) (1240-1302)
Preaching, the vocation and task of the catechist, is very concrete: "When we visit the sick, when we give food to the poor. Here, this is already preaching." The words of St. Francis was recalled by Pope Francis in the message he sent to the International Symposium on Catechesis that ends tomorrow at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) in Buenos Aires.

In the message addressed to Msgr. Ramón Alfredo Dus, Archbishop of Resistencia and president of the Catholic Bishops' Commission for Biblical catechesis and pastoral care, Francis comments on the theme of the Symposium "Blessed are those who believe", taking inspiration from the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi to assert the "concreteness" of preaching.
Catechesis – a Life-Mission
Catechesis, the Pope writes, is not a job, but a sort of mission around which the life of the person who deals with this activity revolves. " Being a catechist is a vocation of service in the Church, a gift of the Lord that changes lives.

At the heart of everything, the 'kerygma', the announcement of the death and resurrection of the Lord, center of Christian life. And the fundamental announcement that should resonate more and more in Christian life, and even more so with those who are called to proclaim and teach the faith. 'Nothing is stronger, deeper, safer, more dense and wiser than proclamation’ (Evangelii Gaudium, 165).

And, as Francis writes, "it is necessary to take care of all the potential of mercy and love that encapsulates popular religiosity for the transmission not only of the contents of faith, but of a school of real formation".

The catechist, in fact, "walks by Christ and with Christ, he or she is not a person with their own ideas and tastes, but has put them aside by virtue of that glimpse of the heart."
Messengers of Faith

The work of the catechist, he writes again, is also creative and is looking for ways and means to proclaim Christ. It means, concludes Francis, to be messengers of how good it is to believe in Jesus, because he is "the way, the truth, and the life," which fills and changes our lives with joy. It is important then to be up to the situation, always, because he is already in the (person) of today.

(Republished with permission of AsiaNews)

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