Editor’s note: On August 21, 2012, the feast of St. Pius X, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—published a letter to the catechists of his Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. This is an exclusive English translation of that letter.
Source: Catholic World Report
It has been a custom now for many years that I write you a letter around the feast of Saint Pius X. In this way I wish to greet you on his day, thank you for your quiet, faithful work each week, for your ability to be Good Samaritans who offer hospitality out of faith, by being familiar faces and dear hearts that make it possible to transform, in some way, the anonymity of the big city.
Some Quotes from the Letter
But catechesis would be seriously compromised if our experience of faith were to leave us confined in and anchored to our familiar world or in the structures and spaces that we have been creating over the years. To believe in the Lord is always to enter anew through the door of faith that makes us go out, to set out on a journey, to leave our comfort zone.... We must not forget that the first Christian initiation that occurred in time and in history climaxed in mission ... that it took on the characteristics of visitation. With complete clarity the account of Luke tells us: “Mary arose and went with haste... full of the Spirit.”
It is good to realize that today, more than ever, the act of believing must allow the joy of the Faith to shine through. As in that joyous encounter of Mary and Elizabeth, the catechist must imbue his or her entire person and ministry with the joy of the Faith.
Furthermore, though, I ask you not to see your field of evangelization as being limited to those who are to be catechized. You are privileged to spread the joy and beauty of the Faith to their families. May they become an echo in your catechetical pastoral ministry in this Church of Buenos Aires that wishes to live in a missionary state. [“Cat-echesis” and “echo” are related words. – Translator’s note]
While thanking you from my heart for all that you do as a catechist, for your time and your dedication, I ask the Lord to give you an open mind, so as to recreate dialogue and encounter among those whom God entrusts to you, and a believing heart so as to follow, exclaiming that He is alive and loves us as no one else does. I have a picture of Mary Help of Christians that says, “You who believed, help me!” May she help us to follow by being faithful to the Lord’s call....