A delegation of catechists from England and Wales joined 100,000 pilgrims for Mass in St Peter’s Square with Pope Francis on Sunday.
The gathering marked the International Day for Catechists, which had been organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
The Mass in St Peter’s Square was also the climax of an International Conference of Catechists that had brought together 1,600 representatives from around the world, just over 40 of whom were from England and Wales.
Among the conference speakers was Dr Petroc Willey, Deputy Director of the Maryvale Institute in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, who delivered a paper titled: “God Searches for Man and Reveals Himself to Him”. Representatives from all the participating countries were presented to the Pope when he attended the conference on Friday.
Geraldine Ellis came on pilgrimage representing the Brentwood Diocese and said: “Our time in Rome has been a tremendous source of joy and affirmation. It was wonderful to meet people from around the world, to see the Holy Father and also to visit the tomb of St Peter.”
Meanwhile, Fr Paul Cannon, who was representing the Salford Diocese, said: “It’s really exciting that the Pontifical Council is making such an explicit link between the work of evangelisation and catechesis. We’ve all received so much encouragement during our time in Rome and look forward to trying to put all that we’ve received into practice.”
The delegation to Rome was coordinated by the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk.
For a full translation of Pope Francis’ homily please see: news.va/en/news/pope-francis-homily-at-mass-for-catechists