Lay catechists and Evangelization

In presenting the history of lay evangelizers in the life of the Church, Father Alberto Trevisiol highlighted that “catechists have always been at the fundamental heart of the mission.” The Dean of the Missiology Department explained: “From the dawn of Christianity, the Gospel was spread throughout the Greek and Roman world, especially through the testimony of what the Didache calls 'itinerant missionaries,' simple believers that not only felt called by Christ, but also invited by Him to preach the Word in the world. Once the migration patterns in Europe ended with the fall of the Roman Empire, the lay catechists, beginning with Clement the Roman, became mediators between the kerigma and the culture at the time and managed to give a soul to European society. They influence the mentality and lifestyle mainly through the medieval 'scholae'.” The modern age, with its phenomena of the great travels to countries far from the country of origin, has shown the need for local lay collaborators.Father Trevisiol continued: “The model of Saint Francis Xavier is an example to be followed even to this day. In his letters, the Jesuit missionary tells of the incredible efforts he made in preaching the Gospel to all people and he depended on local converts for making himself understood. Thus, his collaborators helped communicate the Word in the local language, serving as cultural go-betweens and authentic ministers of the Word. The model, in fact, even today shows the essence of the missionary catechist.”

No comments: