Vatican City, 19 September 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office during which Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promoting New Evangelisation, presented the “Day for Catechists” which will take place on 28 and 29 September, preceded by the International Congress for Catechists, an initiative forming part of the Year of Faith. Also participating in the press conference were Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas and Msgr. Graham Bell, respectively secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, and under-secretary of the same dicastery.
“Among the competencies of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, since its inception charged with the promotion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, jurisdiction over all the catechesis has recently been added”, said Archbishop Fisichella. “This is a considerable task, especially if we consider the strong bond, from the time of the Council, between catechesis and evangelisation, the former serving as a kind of qualificatory stage of the latter”.
He announced the launch, in the coming weeks, of a free application for tablets and smartphones, “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, which “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 25 September. 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 1 October 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”.
This will be followed by the International Congress for Catechesis which will take place in the Paul VI Hall from 26 to 28 September and will focus above all on the first part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, on the theme of faith. During these days, which will see the participation of a total of 1,600 people, made up of 104 delegations from 50 countries, there will be presentations by speakers from various academic centres. The culminating moment will be Pope Francis catechesis at 5 p.m. on Friday, 27 September.
The third stage in the event, from 28 to 29 September, will be dedicated to pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter, and catechesis united to the moment of the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation and Eucharistic Adoration. “Fourteen bishops will offer the catechesis in various languages”, explained Archbishop Fisichella. “Owing to the large number of participants, and to reduce difficulties in the city, we have organised the catechesis in the churches around St. Peter's, divided into linguistic groups; the foreign language catecheses will take place in the morning, whereas the Italian groups will be held in the afternoon. Many parishes and centres are arranging to come to Rome autonomously in those days. … The Pope will celebrate the Holy Eucharist on Sunday at 10.30 p.m., which will be followed by the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square”.
“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”.