Pope Francis Has a Message for You!

Pope Francis - image by Jeffrey Bruno under CC BY-SA 2.0

On his recent trip to Africa, Pope Francis spoke to catechists and teachers and had a powerful message for them—a message that is, in turn, for all who serve as catechists. In his message, the Holy Father emphasized that the work of catechists is rewarding but not easy.

It is important for us to know that the role of the catechist in many places throughout Africa and also in South America is quite different than it is here in the United States. In many places where Catholics don’t get to see a priest very often, the catechist is the most important person in the community—a true pastoral leader. For that very reason, catechists’ work can often be dangerous as they are seen as instigators by certain governments or factions. So please remember that, while our work as catechists here in the States is certainly challenging, most of us do not have to risk our lives to bring the Word of God to others!

Here is my favorite line from the Pope’s message:

Even when the task seems too much, the resources too few, the obstacles too great, it should never be forgotten that yours is a holy work. The Holy Spirit is present wherever the name of Christ is proclaimed. He is in our midst whenever we lift up our hearts and minds to God in prayer. He will give you the light and strength you need!

Read the full text of the Holy Father’s message to catechists.

Image by Jeffrey Bruno under CC BY-SA 2.0.

About Joe Paprocki 2746 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

2 Comments on Pope Francis Has a Message for You!

  1. Good morning,
    I simply love the above quote from Pope Francis! Our office is preparing for our 33rd Annual Catechetical, youth and Adult Faith Formation Affirmation Luncheon on May 5, 2020. I would like to include this quote in our program/worship aid. How would I go about getting permission to use it? Thank you for your time,
    Kathy M. Garcia
    Office of Religious Education
    Archdiocese of Santa Fe

    • Thanks, Kathy! You won’t need any permission to use the Pope’s words since they were shared publicly and you have permission to share any part of my post as long as you cite the source: Catechist’s Journey, Joe Paprocki, DMin, Loyola Press. Thanks and blessings!

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