Pope Francis to the Dicastery for Evangelization: “Work hard so that the strength of hope emerges from the Jubilee”

15 March 2024


“In a few weeks I will make public the Apostolic Letter for the official announcement of the 2025 Jubilee,” said Pope Francis at the audience in the Apostolic Palace with participants taking part in the Plenary Session of the first section of the Dicastery for Evangelization. He went on: “I hope that those pages will help many people to reflect on hope and above all to experience hope in a concrete way."

The Holy Father, in his speech during the second of the three days of the Dicastery's Plenary Assembly, underlined the "great commitment that the Dicastery is displaying every day in organizing the Holy Year", for which he thanked them, "certain that all this effort will bear great fruits". The next Jubilee will be one in which the "strength of hope" must emerge, he said.

The welcome being prepared for pilgrims who will arrive in Rome from all over the world, added the Pope, "must involve allowing them to live the experience of faith, conversion and forgiveness". The preparation process that precedes the Holy Year will certainly be important, as the Holy Father once again recalled. “Let us not forget that this year 2024 is dedicated to prayer. We need to rediscover prayer as an experience of being in the presence of the Lord, of feeling understood, welcomed and loved by Him."

Then the Pope addressed the participants in the Plenary directly, underlining the importance of these three days "for discussion of the problems that evangelization entails, especially if the focus is on the different regions of the world".

The Holy Father's first thought was for the question of secularism, a reality in which various local Churches find themselves, and which is leading in some places to the loss of the sense of belonging to the Christian community, in others to indifference towards the faith and its contents. "We know the negative effects it has produced, but now is the favourable time to understand what kind of effective response we must give to the young generations so that they can rediscover the meaning of life." To this end, he added, it is urgent to recover an effective relationship with families and centers of formation.

The Pope said: “To be transmitted effectively, faith in the risen Lord, which is at the heart of evangelization, requires a significant experience lived in the family and in the Christian community as an encounter with Jesus Christ which changes lives”.

Pope Francis also spoke about the relevance of the responsibilities entrusted to the Dicastery for Evangelization. “Still on the issue of the priority of the question of the transmission of the faith, I thank you for the service you give in the field of catechesis. And you do so by making use of the new Directory (...), a valid tool not only for the renewal of catechetical methodology, but I would say above all for the involvement of the Christian community as a whole". In this work, a specific role is entrusted to those who have received, and will receive in future, the ministry of Catechist. The other two themes are the spirituality of mercy, "a fundamental part of the work of evangelization" and the pastoral care of shrines, which "requires to be imbued with mercy".

Then, in conclusion, the Holy Father proposed to the members and consultants of the Dicastery an emphasis on the style of evangelization. “When evangelization is carried out as a kind of anointing with mercy, it finds a more attentive reception, and the heart opens to a greater willingness to convert. In this way people have been touched by what we feel we need most, that is, pure, free love, which is the source of new life.”