On October 15, the members of the planning committee for the Jubilee for Catechists met at the headquarters of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. The event, being planned for the Year of Mercy, will take place in Rome from September 23-25, 2016. The goal of the gathering, in addition to giving the possibility of receiving the Jubilee Indulgence to all who participate, is to be a reminder that the catechesis and religious education imparted by catechists, religion teachers, and educators puts into practice the first Spiritual Work of Mercy: "teach the ignorant". The Pope, in fact, in Misericordia Vultus, invites us to contemplate and put into action these Works of Mercy during the Jubilee. Catechesis is truly a work of mercy because it brings near those who do not know God and helps those who already know him to love and know him even more.
The order of the day for the meeting was to finalize the schedule and plan each activity. The inspiration for the program of events was "Miserando atque eligendo" (Looking at him with mercy and choosing him), taken from a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest, (Hom 21;. CCL 122, 149-151) that recounts Jesus' call of Saint Matthew the Apostle.
With this motto in mind, the Jubilee for Catechists will begin on the afternoon of Friday, September 23 with a catechesis on the vocation of Matthew. Participants will be grouped according to their languages at various churches in the center of Rome. In the vicinity of the Church of Saint Louis of France (Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi), pilgrims will be invited to contemplate the divine mercy in one of the most famous paintings in the world, which depicts the Call of Saint Matthew. The painting is found in the Cappella Contarelli in the Church of Saint Louis. The work is part of a series of paintings of Saint Matthew the Evangelist executed by Caravaggio between 1599 and 1600.
The next day, in the various Jubilee Churches, the catechists will have the opportunity to prepare themselves for the pilgrimage ending at the Holy Door of Saint Peter's Basilica. Eucharistic adoration, prayer and lectio divina are planned as part of this preparation. At all times during the weekend, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available. During the pilgrimage to the Holy Door, the participants will be able to admire some of the faces of the most known Saints and Blesseds who were catechists, through whom the mercy of God was made manifest. In the evening, the day will conclude with Vespers (Evening Prayer) being prayed in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. The celebration of Vespers will begin with some testimonies of catechists who work in situations of particular difficulty.
Finally, on Sunday at 10:00, there will be Holy Mass with Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Square, which will conclude the Jubilee for Catechists.
Within the next few days the final schedule for the event will be published. Beginning in the middle of November, it will be possible to register as a participant through the official web site of the Jubilee: www.im.va.