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Friday, 25 October 2019 08:31

INDONESIAN Church celebrates extraordinary missionary month

25 October 2019 - Archbishop Robertus Rubiyatmoko of Semarang meets 1,857 catechists to thank them for their commitment. The Archdiocese of Jakarta hosts the recitation of the rosary and a procession of the statue of the Virgin in the cathedral. Palembang Catholics trace the history of the Christian presence in Sumatra.

Meetings, conferences and spiritual retreats: these are some of the initiatives that the Indonesian Catholic Church has organized throughout the country, to celebrate the extraordinary missionary month announced by Pope Francis.

Between 17 and 20 October, hundreds of priests, nuns, catechists and faithful gathered at the Rumah Retret of Tirta Ria, in the archdiocese of Pontianak (province of West Kalimantan). Speaking with the guests and participants at the meeting, the Jesuit theologian and sociologist Fr. Haryatmoko firmly argued that consecrated persons can no longer remain "on the margins" of modern society. "A productive group work with the laity is increasingly necessary," said Fr. Haryatmoko during a seminar – because on their own the clergy cannot accomplish too many things ".

On October 20, Archbishop Robertus Rubiyatmoko of Semarang (Central Java), brought together 1,857 catechists from every part of the archdiocese for an event dedicated to them in the minor seminary of St. Peter Canisius in Mertoyudan (in Magelang).

Bishop Rubiyatmoko expressed his appreciation for the commitment of all catechists in spreading the Christian faith, both in state schools and in parish courses. "I am really moved - said the archbishop - by such a great and truly proud participation of all of you. I am also convinced that the Semarang Catholic Church will always have a solid foundation, thanks to your contribution and dedication in spreading the Gospel and Catholic doctrine".

The Archdiocese of Jakarta hosted a recital of the Holy Rosary and a procession of the statue of the Virgin in the Cathedral of the Assumption. These were followed by a Mass celebrated by the archbishop Card. Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo along with several priests.

Celebrations for the extraordinary missionary month in the archdiocese of Palembang (South Sumatra) took place at the parish of St. John the Baptist in Bengkulu (in the homonymous province) - about eight hours' journey from the bishop's see. Many initiatives involved catechists and active members of the Pontifical missionary works focused on the history of the local Catholic community. The Archbishop, Msgr. Aloysius Sudarso, has retraced it since the beginning; from 28 January 1703, the day of the landing in Fort York, on the coasts of Bengkulu, of the Theatine missionary Fr. Martelli.

In the diocese of Bandung (West Java), a long demonstration took place between September 21 and October 20 called "Pekan Misi Nasional IV" (National Week of Mission IV). To organize it, the Indonesian Bishops Conference (Kwi). Among the proposed activities, there were lectures and conferences to explain the Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV to the faithful in different cities of the diocese.

Added to these was a "Procession of the Cross" and a solemn Mass in the Cathedral of St. Peter. Fr. Markus Nur Widipranoto, national director of the Pontifical Missionary Society in Indonesia, spoke to AsiaNews of how the local Church prepared for the extraordinary missionary month with the National Missionary Congress, held in Jakarta between the first and the 4th of August. With the theme "Baptized and sent to proclaim the Gospel", the event attracted 400 people from the 37 dioceses of the vast archipelago.Mathias Hariyadi, Asianews


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