Semarang, 418 priests of the diocese for a retreat on consecrated life (Photos)
by Mathias Hariyadi

Bishop Rubiyatmoko: "Our vocation comes from Jesus, it is on Him that our lives should be centered".  In Jakarta, Msgr.  Suharyo explained to hundreds of priests gathered in the cathedral the importance of pursuing a blessed life.  Even at Pontianak, the Chrism Mass ended a two-day meeting.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A spiritual retreat was concluded yesterday with the celebration of the chrism Mass - or Misa Krisma in Indonesian - which brought 418 priests to service the Archdiocese of Semarang in Bandungan (Central Java): Jesuits, Franciscans, fathers  of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and diocesan priests.

"The facilitators of the retreat were the current Jesuit provincial superior, Fr.  Petrus Sunu Hardiyanto, and his elder brother Fr.  Priyono Marwan, who in the past held his own role, "Msgr.  Robertus Rubiyatmoko, archbishop of Semarang.  "We offered - adds the prelate - points for discussion and reflection on important issues: how to exercise the spirit of collegiality in religious community life and the spirit of priestly collegiality".

In the homily of the Chrism Mass, Msgr.  Rubiyatmoko reminded those present of the meaning of the priesthood.  "It is from Jesus Christ that our priestly vocation comes and it is on Him that our lives should be centered," he said.

About 445km to the east, in the capital Jakarta, the Archbishop Msgr.  Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo explained to hundreds of priests gathered in the cathedral the importance of pursuing a blessed life.  "The consecrated life offers us the opportunity to become" men for others ".  But "man for others" is bound to become a saint, so that his life becomes a great blessing for those close to him.  Living a consecrated life means being educated, offering joy and hope as well as words of comfort and gestures of friendship "said the president of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (Kwi).

In Pontianak, in the remote province of West Kalimantan, the Archbishop Msgr.  Agustinus Agus invited all local priests to a two-day retreat at the House of the Immaculate, a few meters from St. Joseph's Cathedral.  During his homily for the Misa Krisma, the prelate stressed to the priests and the hundreds of faithful present that "renewing the vows means that even the priests are weak men".  "Through this ceremony - he declared - they ask for God's grace and His blessing, to reinforce their vocation".

(Photo credit: Samuel Bjp, Ivan Darmawan Prajogo and others).

(Samuel, Ivan and Laurensius Suryono contributed to the article).