While addressing the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education (February 14, 2014), Pope Francis called Catholic education, “one of the most important challenges for the Church, currently committed to new evangelization in an historical and cultural context that is undergoing constant transformation”.
Pope Francis launched into a detailed exploration of catechesis as a component of evangelization. He said that, on the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.”
He continued, “Proclaiming Christ means showing that to believe in and to follow him is not only something right and true, but also something beautiful, (‘A Way of Beauty) capable of filling life with new splendour and profound joy, even in the midst of difficulties. Every expression of true beauty can thus be acknowledged as a path leading to an encounter with the Lord Jesus; fostering a renewed esteem for beauty as a means of touching the human heart and enabling the truth and goodness of the Risen Christ to radiate within it.
He encouraged the use of the arts in evangelization, building on the treasures of the past but also drawing upon the wide variety of contemporary expressions so as to transmit the faith in a new “language of parables”. He said that we must be bold enough to discover new signs and new symbols, new flesh to embody and communicate the word, and different forms of beauty which are valued in different cultural settings, including those unconventional modes of beauty which may mean little to the evangelizers, yet prove particularly attractive for others.