Pope Francis instituted the Lay Ministry of catechist. “The reception of a lay ministry such as that of Catechist will emphasise even more the missionary commitment proper to every baptised person, a commitment that must however be carried out in a fully secular manner avoiding any form of clericalisation,” the Pontiff writes in the apostolic letter in the form of Motu Proprio Antiquum ministerium.
“This ministry is reserved for those who correspond to certain requirements that the Motu Proprio lists. First of all, that of the vocational dimension to serve the Church where the bishop considers it most qualifying. The ministry is not given for personal gratification, but for the service one intends to render to the local Church and in service to where the bishop deems the presence of the catechist necessary,” said Monsignor Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, in a press conference.
It is good, the Pope points out, “that men and women of profound faith and human maturity are called to the instituted ministry of catechist, active participants in the life of the Christian community, capable of welcoming others, being generous and living a life of fraternal communion.
They should also receive suitable biblical, theological, pastoral and pedagogical formation to be competent communicators of the truth of the faith, and they should have some prior experience of catechesis. It is essential that they be faithful co-workers with priests and deacons, prepared to exercise their ministry wherever it may prove necessary, and motivated by true apostolic enthusiasm.”