Pope: 'May the Jubilee help the people of God live in hope'

Archbishop Leo Cushley was in Rome recently for the plenary assembly of the Dicastery for Evangelization.

Members heard from Pope Francis on the need for a new approach to evangelization in our secularized and individualistic world, writes Vatican News.

He remarked that over the past decades secularism has caused “enormous difficulties” which span “from the loss of the sense of belonging to the Christian community, to indifference regarding faith and its contents”.

These negative effects, the Pope noted, have been further accentuated by the new digital culture, which "also brings with it a vision of mankind that appears problematic when referring to the need for truth that resides in every person, joined with the need for freedom in interpersonal and social relationships."

The crucial role of catechists

Emphasizing the crucial role of catechists, he expressed his hope “that bishops will be able to nurture and accompany vocations to this ministry”, especially among the young, “so that the gap between generations may be narrowed and the transmission of the faith may not appear as a task entrusted only to older people.”

I encourage you to find ways for the Catechism of the Catholic Church to continue to be known, studied, and valued, so that it may respond to the new needs that manifest themselves with the passing decades.”

Need for prayer to prepare for the Jubilee of Hope

The Holy Father reflected on the preparation of the 2025 Jubilee of Hope, which he will officially proclaim in an Apostolic Letter to be released in the weeks to come.

“I hope that those pages will be able to help many people reflect and, above all, experience hope in a real way," he said, remarking that “the holy people of God needs it so much!”

Thanking the Dicastery for its efforts to welcome the millions of Jubilee pilgrims flowing to Rome next year, Pope Francis concluded by recalling the importance of prayer to prepare for the event, for which 2024 has been designated as a Year of Prayer.

“We need to rediscover prayer as the experience of being in the Lord’s presence, of feeling we are understood, welcomed, and loved by Him,” he said. "Let us start, brothers and sisters, to pray more, to pray better, in the school of Mary and of the saints.”

Pope appoints Archbishop to Vatican’s Department for Evangelisation

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Leo Cushley to a five-year term as a Member of the First Section of the Dicastery for Evangelisation.

He is joined by John Docherty, former head-teacher of St Ninian's High School in East Renfrewshire, to a five-year term as a Consultor of the same department, which deals with the 'fundamental questions of evangelisation in the world'.

Archbishop Cushley said: “I was surprised and honoured to be asked to become a member of the Dicastery for Evangelisation.

"As this dicastery is an important part of the recent curial reforms of the Holy Father, I look forward learning more and to contributing whatever I can to the fundamental questions of proposing the Good News in today’s world and its many contexts.”

Mr Docherty said: “I am both honoured and deeply humbled to be invited to serve the Church through the Dicastery of Evangelization.

"I hope that my experience of working within Catholic Education will be of value in assisting Pope Francis’ mission to put evangelisation at the centre of our lives. I look forward with great enthusiasm to the challenges that lie ahead.”

The Dicastery for Evangelization is a new department of the Roman Curia formed by the merger of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization in 2022.

The Dicastery is responsible for the fundamental questions of evangelization in the world and according to its Constitution, “is presided over directly by the Roman Pontiff."