Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, February 12, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Novena of Grace 2016

Home : News : Pope Francis/Vatican
Pope tells catechists: Put Christ, others, not oneself, on center stage
Catholic News Service photo
Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating a Mass for catechists in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 29. 
Catholic News Service photo
Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating a Mass for catechists in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 29. 
Catholic News Service


VATICAN CITY — Being a catechist is about teaching the faith in its entirety and putting Christ — not oneself — on center stage, Pope Francis told catechists from around the world.

Catechists "are people who keep the memory of God alive; they keep it alive in themselves and they are able to revive it in others," he said in his homily.

The pope spoke during a special Mass in St. Peter's Square Sept. 29 for hundreds of catechists who were in Rome for a three-day international congress hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

In his homily, the pope said a catechist teaches the faith to be "at the service of proclamation, not to be important, not to talk about himself or herself, but to talk about God, about his love and his fidelity."

They also speak about and "transmit all that God has revealed, that is, the doctrine in its totality, neither adding nor subtracting anything," he said.

The pope warned against forgetting about God. "If we don't think about God, everything ends up being about 'me' and my own comfort."

The real meaning of life, the importance of other people, "all of these become unreal, they no longer matter, everything boils down to one thing: having," he said.

"Whenever material things, money, worldliness, become the center of our lives, they take hold of us, they possess us; we lose our very identity as human beings," he said.

He reminded his audience that "we are made in God's image and likeness, not that of material objects, not that of idols."

In an earlier audience with catechists, the pope said the church needs good catechists, who love Christ, live out the Gospel in their lives and courageously go to the margins of society to share the gift of faith with others.

"Let us follow him, imitate him in his dynamic of love, of going to others, and let's go out, open the doors, have the audacity to strike out new paths to proclaim the Gospel," he said Sept. 27, in a talk that was both improvised and drawn from a text.

Seated behind a large wooden desk facing his audience in the Vatican's Paul VI hall, the pope joked that he was going to make just three points, "like the old-time Jesuits used to do: one, two, three," he said to laughter.

Many in the audience hall took notes, closely following the pope's words. The pope thanked them for their service to the church and said being a catechist isn't a job or a title, it's a vocation, an approach to life.

It starts first with being with God, getting to know him and conforming one's life to the Gospel -- a task that lasts a lifetime, he said.

Being close to God means praying to him, talking with him and letting him "watch over you," he said, which "warms the heart and keeps the fire of friendship with the Lord alive."

Not everyone, especially busy mothers and fathers, can spend a lot of quiet time in prayer before the tabernacle, where Christ is truly present, he said.

But everyone can find some way to be and stay with Jesus because, if not, "if there isn't the warmth of God, his love, his tenderness in our heart, how can we -- poor sinners -- warm the hearts of others?"

The second thing catechists need to do, he said, is imitate Christ by going outside of themselves and be there for others.

Receiving the gift of faith and having Christ at the center of one's life, "pushes us out," compels Christians to go outside their ego and reach out "to others in Christ's name."

This dynamic of receiving and then giving is like the diastolic and systolic pressures at work in the bloodstream, he said. Without both of these forces at work, the catechist's "heart stops beating, he cannot live."

But this gift of faith must be total, 100 percent: "You don't take a cut for yourself," he said, "This is not a bargain."

The third thing to do is to not be afraid of striking out into the unknown, like Jonah was when God told him to preach to the pagans in Nineveh.

Jonah's fear, the pope said, was because "he was rigid" and thought he had the truth staying right where he was.

But "God is not afraid of the outskirts," he said, and "is always beyond our mindsets."

"God is creative, he's not narrow-minded, and for this he is never rigid," the pope said. God "welcomes us, comes to us and understands us."

While the Gospel does not change, catechists need to be creative and know how to change themselves, adapting themselves to the people and circumstances they encounter.

"To stay with God it's necessary to know how to go out, to not be afraid of going out" into the world, he said.

"If catechists let themselves be taken over by fear, they're wimps, and if catechists are laid back they end up being a statue in a museum, and we have plenty of them, right?"

When a room is closed up tight, the air gets stuffy and the people inside get sick, he said. A similar sickness occurs when Christians are closed up within themselves, their group, their parish or their studies, he said.

But Jesus did not say, "Go and make do," he said, "Go, I am with you."

"This is our beauty and our strength: If we go, if we go out to bring his Gospel with love, with real apostolic spirit, with (confidence), he walks with us, goes before us."

Even though it may seem too far away "and perhaps we are a little hesitant, in reality, he is already there. Jesus is waiting for us in the heart of that brother, in his wounded flesh, in his oppressed life, in his soul that lacks faith."



Advanced Search










Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved