Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took advantage of the recent Day of the Catechist to express gratitude for the "silent and committed dedication" of these ministers.
After asking God to "rejuvenate" the catechists with his grace, the prelate affirmed that "the renewal of pastoral care and of catechesis will not depend on great programs and structures, but on new men and women who embody this tradition and novelty, as disciples of Jesus Christ and missionaries of his Kingdom."
In a letter addressed to catechists, the cardinal stated, "In our task of evangelization, God asks us to accompany a people that walks in the faith."
He continued: "For this the Lord gives us faces, histories and researches. And it is always good to recall that that child, that youth and that adult that God puts on our path is not a glass that we must fill with content or a person to conquer.
"The Lord already dwells in their heart, given that he always precedes us."
Cardinal Bergoglio explained, "Our task will be simply to help to unveil, to make explicit the presence of him who is already present and has the power to fill every life."
He added that it is a "splendid mission, ministry of the Word that catechists have been carrying out uninterruptedly for almost two thousand years."
The prelate also called the ministry "an ecclesial service that is expressed in many ways and in different places."
The cardinal then reminded the catechists that the faithful first need "witnesses rather than teachers."
"There is a greater need than ever of catechists," he added.
There is a need, Cardinal Bergoglio said, "of a joyful, committed catechist renewed in his fervor, who makes present that style of missionary Church that knows about frailty -- one's own and that of others -- and because of this goes out, listens, embraces and supports."
He concluded, "Do not tire of sowing!"