Pope Francis went on to emphasize the need for "creativity" in catechesis, because "you need to know the circumstances in which you preach the gospel."
Although the gospel message never changes, we must be able to adapt our methods according to our circumstances. "God is not rigid," he said.
Moreover, said the Pope, Christian catechists cannot remain "closed off in our group, in our parish, in our movement, in our environment." Such an attitude leads to a person being "sick."
Rather, we need the kind of catechist who "has the courage to take the risk to go out" preaching the gospel.
Sue Petritz of Sussex England, who works with adults entering the Catholic Church, was present at the meeting. She found Pope Francis' words motivating.
"He's just a great inspiration to catechists everywhere, because if the Pope can do it and he uses Jesus as his example, we can do it as well. He inspires us," she told CNA.
The meeting with Pope Francis was part of the International Conference on Catechesis organized for the Year of Faith. Two thousand catechists from around the world gathered from September 26-28 in Rome to consider the theme of "Catechist: A Witness of Faith."
One participant from Portugal, Christina, expressed her joy in being part of an international gathering.
"I think it's very important to meet with people from other countries and other cultural experiences – and then we feel that we really are brothers and sisters that have a common Father," she said.
The conference included the meeting with Pope Francis as well as various presentations on catechesis and a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter.