Pope Francis addressed a meeting hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promotion of the New Evangelization. You can go to the link for a bit more context, but here’s the conclusion of the address as reported by asianews.it:
The question of how we are educating in the faith, therefore, is not rhetorical, but essential. The answer requires courage, creativity and decision to undertake sometimes even unexplored roads. Catechesis, as part of the process of evangelization, needs to go beyond just the school sphere to educate believers, even as children, to encounter Christ, alive and active in his Church. It is the encounter with Him that awakens the desire to know Him better and then to follow Him to become His disciples. The challenge of the new evangelization and catechesis, therefore depends on this fundamental point: how to meet Christ, what is the most consistent place to find Him and follow Him.
A few thoughts on this …
Those three “requirements” may well lead us to paths unexplored. All the polls tell us we are hemorrhaging believers after First Communion. (Some say high school or college, but I think the real break is around age nine.) Courage may well be needed if we are considering a jettison of traditional religious education. Even instruction based on the Catechism.
Creativity is certainly needed to explore that pilgrimage from knowing about God to knowing God, from information about Jesus to an actual relationship with the Lord.
And we have to decide to do something.
“Going beyond the school sphere,” does that mean an end to catechesis as we have known it?