Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, unveiled plans for the “Day for Catechists” which will held on September 28-29. The event will be preceded by the International Congress for Catechists which will be attended by an estimated 1,600 representatives from 104 delegations of various episcopal commissions and national centers of catechetics.
Also present at the press conference were Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization and Msgr. Graham Bell, the under-secretary of the same dicastery.
Archbishop Fisichella highlighted the importance of the Pontifical Council in promoting both the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the work of the evangelization. Among the initiatives leading up to the “Day of Catechists” is the launching of a free application for smartphones and tablets containing the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The app “will allow users to have to hand both the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium, and will enable easy consultation of the texts and biblical references, and a search facility for the terms in question and reference texts, with the possibility of sharing them via Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.”
“The first part of this event will be dedicated to the International Council for Catechesis, which will take place on September 25th. The task of this Council will be the study of the most important questions of catechesis to favour a unitary service for the Episcopal Conferences and to enable an exchange of experiences. The Council, instituted by Paul VI in 1973, was renewed on October 1st, 2012 and its first task will be to study the state of catechesis in the world during this last decade, and to plan new commitments deriving from its new link to evangelisation”.
Following the council will be the aforementioned International Congress for Catechesis where the theme of faith will be discussed by various speakers from various academic centers. The event will conclude with the catechesis delivered by the Holy Father on Friday, September 27th.
The event will culminate with the “Day of Catechists” over the weekend, which will be include a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter and various catechesis in the various churches in the surrounding area. “Fourteen bishops will offer catechesis in various languages,” Archbishop Fisichella said. The event will conclude on Sunday, September 29th with the celebration of Mass presided by Pope Francis.
“The event in its entirety will take as its theme, ‘The catechist, witness of faith’. Many, indeed, are called to take on the great responsibility in this phase of the transmission of the faith, and know that the witness of life is the most meaningful element in the credibility of their mission,” the archbishop said.
Explaining the importance of the role of catechists in the world, Archbishop Fisichella released the most recent statistics that places the number of catechists worldwide at over 3 million.
Archbishop Ruiz Arenas told the journalists present that catechists are generous collaborators in the new evangelization. “During last year’s Synod, the bishops wished to thank the catechists for work and their collaboration in the formation of the faithful,” Archbishop Ruiz Arenas noted.