The People Wish to See Jesus

Front Cover of The People Wish to See Jesus

Written with gratitude for all educators, Pope Francis offers deep understanding and challenge in these powerful reflections for successful catechesis, teaching, and education. These essays and talks by Pope Francis are packed with powerful insights into what teaching, and learning really mean for Christians.
The pope insists that education requires the development of a profound empathy and an active spirituality, as well as a clear understanding of its humanizing force. Starting with a tender care for the person of the educator, and of the student, Pope Francis shines profound light on the human condition, our need for the Good News, and the right way to share it—joyfully.

The included texts have been chosen for this volume of the Pope Francis Resource Library from the treasure chest of talks by then-Archbishop Bergoglio to the catechists of Buenos Aires.



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Pope Francis was born in 1936 to immigrant parents who fled fascist Italy for Argentina, Jose Maria Bergoglio would work at various jobs in his youth—including a stint as a janitor, and as a night club bouncer.  He was educated by Jesuits, and joined the Jesuit novitiate, leading to his ordination as a priest in 1969. He has taught literature, psychology, and theology to college-level seminarians. He served as provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina from 1973 to 1979. In 1992, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. In 1998, he became Archbishop of Buenos Aires. In 2001, he was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II. On March 13, 2013, after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, he was elected the 266th pope, taking the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi.

Since his election, Pope Francis has focused his efforts on internal reform of Church structures, and on reinvigorating the Church’s preaching of the Gospel message, with special emphasis on outreach to the poor and the cultivation of personal holiness.  His interactions with the media and personal simplicity of life have won the hearts of Catholics and non-Catholics alike, around the world.

Translator Michael O’Hearn has been involved in religious and university publishing for over thirty-five years. He served as director of both the University of Ottawa Press and of Novalis Publishing at Saint Paul University, where he was also a lecturer in pastoral theology. He currently works as a translator (Spanish and French) and editor of religious and academic resources.


Table of Contents

Introductory Note • vii

Part I: To Teachers and Catechists

“The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63) • 1
Catechists, into the Streets! • 3
The People Wish to See Jesus • 7
Worship Enables Empathy • 15
A Pedagogy of Presence • 20
Spirituality of the Journey • 25
Love, Look, Cherish, Then Teach • 30
Teach with Authority • 40
Model of the Tireless Pilgrim • 47
Begin Again from Christ • 52

Part II: On Education

Part II: On Education
“My teaching is not mine but his who sent me.” (John 7:16) • 59
Educating in the Context of Culture • 61
The Educational Process • 76
Education and Human Dignity • 84
Educating, a Shared Commitment • 109