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Pope Francis’ December Prayer Intention: Catechists to Witness Word of God "with courage"

Pope Francis meets young people of the Scholas Community at Rome’s Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae, Nov. 25, 2021. Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Pope Francis is asking Catholics to pray in December that catechists will witness to the Gospel with courage and creativity.

The pope made the appeal in his December prayer intention, shared with an accompanying video on Nov. 30.

“Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit,” reads the prayer intention, promoted by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

A catechist is a Catholic who instructs others in Christian doctrine and the Gospel. Earlier this year, Pope Francis instituted a new ministry of catechist for lay people who have a particular call to serve the Catholic Church as a teacher of the faith.

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In the video explaining his prayer intention, Pope Francis said that there is a need for “good catechists who are both companions and teachers.”

“The lay ministry of catechists is a vocation; it’s a mission. Being a catechist means that you ‘are a catechist,’ not that you ‘work as a catechist.’ It’s an entire way of being,” the pope said.

“We need creative people who proclaim the Gospel, but who proclaim it neither with a mute nor with a loudspeaker, but rather with their life, with gentleness, with a new language, and opening new ways,” he said.

Pope Francis noted that in many dioceses around the world, “evangelization is fundamentally in the hands of a catechist.”

The pope also expressed gratitude for catechists’ dedication to this mission in the service of the Church.

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“Catechists have an invaluable mission for the transmission and growth of the faith,” Pope Francis said.