Jakarta (AsiaNews) - At least 700 boys and girls from 24 parishes in Purwokerto (Central Java) - along with priests, nuns and religious present as educators and animators - participated in the first edition of the diocesan youth day (Pdyd). The event - which took a year of preparation - was held a few days ago and was attended by the local bishop Msgr. Julianus Sunarko and the secretary of the Commission for the pastoral care of young people of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference, Fr. Antonius Haryanto.
Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Frans Kristi Adi Prasetyo, director of Pdyd 2015, says that the event were "a great opportunity" for the diocese to "motivate boys and girls to be agents of love and compassion" in society. At first it was not easy to gather young people and involve them in the organization, but over time they have also shown "great hope, even a little 'anxiety, but above all confidence" in the event.
The Diocesan Youth Day (Pdyd) of Purwokerto was held June 25 to 28 last on the premises of the Catholic school in the city, under the theme, "Blessed to share." At the end of four days of meetings, activities, thoughts and prayers Bishop Julianus Sunarko presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebration and announced the next edition scheduled in 2018.
During the days the young participants lived an experience of faith and prayer along the lines of Taize, even approaching the sacrament of confession. "There were 15 priests for over 200 people," said Father. Prasetyo, adding that every morning a Mass marked the start of the day's activities.
During the days young people participated in seminars and meetings dedicated to social enterprises; others took part in theater and art workshops under the guidance of Fr. Teguh Budiarto, a priest of the diocese with a passion for art and performances. Instead others joined seminars on journalism and the media, as well as sessions of the liturgy. Meetings and times of prayer took were interspersed with fun activities.
Before concluding the organizers invited the young people to spread the spirit of Pdyd to all parishes in the diocese, so that the spirit can come to embrace the thousands of boys and girls who could not attend.
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. Christians represent 5.7 per cent of the population with Catholics just over 3.6 per cent. The latter are an active part of society. Over the years, they have contributed to the nation's development and played a major role in emergency operations, as was the case during the devastating floods of January 2013.