Pope Francis establishes the Secular Service for Christian catechists
Pope Francis established the Secular Service of Christian Catechism with the Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu proprio ‘Old office’ (The previous ministry) in which he also requested the preparation of the training course, describing the normative criteria for reaching the ministry and disseminating the rituals of an institution such as this informal ministry.
The Holy Father signed this new characteristic motu in the liturgical memory of Saint John Avila and released it by the Vatican on May 11th.
In the Apostolic Letter ‘Old office’ Pope Francis described how The Christian catechesis service in the Church is very old Since “the first examples are already present in the writings of the New Testament,” he stressed that “since its inception, the Christian community has experienced a broad form of service that has been embodied in the service of men and women who, obedient to the work of the Holy Spirit, dedicated their lives to building up the Church.”
“Looking at the lives of the early Christian groups that committed themselves to spreading and developing the gospel, the church today also urges an understanding of what new expressions that remain faithful to the word of the Lord for its sake might be. So that his gospel reaches every creature,” he pointed out.
Along these lines, the Pope stressed that “the entire history of evangelization in these two millennia ago shows with great evidence the efficacy of the mission of catechesis teachers” since “bishops, priests and deacons, along with many men and women who are devoted, dedicated their lives to catechesis so that Faith is a good support for the personal existence of every human being. “
Moreover, the Holy Father warned that “The countless secular men and women who participated directly in spreading the gospel cannot be forgotten Through catechesis. Men and women revived by great faith, true witnesses of holiness, who, in some cases, were also founders of churches who sacrificed their lives. “
In this sense, the Pope noted that “the long list of blessed Christian catechists, saints and martyrs has distinguished the mission of the Church which deserves to be known because it constitutes a fruitful source not only for Christian education, but for the entire history of spirituality. Christian.”
Likewise, the Holy Father stressed that “The bishop’s job is to be the first teacher in his dioceseWith the priest, with whom she shares the same pastoral care, and the special responsibility of parents with regard to the Christian upbringing of their children, ”he added,“ It is also necessary to recognize the existence of lay men and women who, by virtue of the virtue of their baptism, feel called to cooperate in the service of Christian teaching. ”
In light of this, the Pope described that a catechism teacher “is called in the first place to demonstrate his competence in Pastoral service for the transmission of the faith, Which unfolds in its different stages: from the first advertisement submitted to KirigmaThrough education that makes us aware of the new life in Christ and prepares in a special way the mysteries of Christian initiation, even Permanent education Which allows every baptized to be always ready to give an answer to anyone who asks him to give a reason for his hope. “
At the same time, the Holy Father emphasized that the Master is alsoWatch Faith, Teacher and Woolf, Companion and Educator It teaches in the name of the Church “therefore it is necessary that it be done” with coherence and responsibility through prayer, study and direct participation in the life of the community. “
With regard to the new secular service of education, the Pope indicated that it “places greater emphasis on the apostolic commitment of every person baptized, which must in any case be carried out in a completely secular way. Without falling into any expression of normalization“.
Therefore, the Holy Father pointed out that this service “has a strong professional value that requires adequate understanding on the part of the bishop, and this is evident from the rituals of the institution” and added that it revolves around “A stable service provided to the local church According to the pastoral needs identified by local ordinary people, but it is carried out in a normal way according to the nature of the service.
It is appropriate that the Ministry of Christian Education be called Men and women of deep faith and human maturity, Who participate actively in the life of the Christian community, who can be welcoming, gracious, live in fraternal communion, and receive biblical, theological, pastoral and educational training to be aware of the truth of the faith. He has gained previous experience in catechesis, ”he explained.
Thus, the Pope warned that catechists are required to “Be sincere collaborators of priests and deacons, ready to practice service when necessaryAnd motivated by true apostolic fervor. “
Finally, the Holy Father asked the congregation to worship God and organize sacraments The founding rite of the Secular Ministry of Christian Education will soon be published; For the Episcopal Conferences “to activate the service of the Christian education teacher, and to establish what is necessary Training path and benchmarks To reach it, and to find the most coherent forms of the service that they will be called to do according to what was mentioned in this Apostolic Message.
Read the full text of the Motu feature ‘Old office’ Click Here.