03/19/2016, 10.01
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Bringing faith to the stage, evangelization according to two Indonesian priests

by Mathias Hariyadi

Fr. Harry Sulistyo and Fr. Steve Winarto have involved young people from all cultures to write and produce three musical performances. The most recent was staged in the prestigious theater Ciputra Jakarta Art-preneur: "The Church has the duty to reach out to everyone, even the most distant."


Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Communicating the Catholic faith through the arts, so that even the most distant from the Christian sentiments can be touched by the announcement. This has prompted two priests of the Archdiocese of Jakarta in Indonesia to promote cultural activities open to all within the Catholic community.

Fr. Harry Sulistyo and Fr. Steve Winarto work in the "Great Jakarta" area which includes the capital and the districts of Tangerang and Bakasi, where there is a mixture of many different races, languages ​​and cultures.

Fr. Sulistyo, Chinese by birth, is the head of the Commission for Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Jakarta, Fr. Winarto instead pastor of the church of St. Gabriel Pulogebang in Bekasi (25 km east of the capital).

Together, the two religious have produced and staged three musicals in the last three years: Selubung Perempuan (The veil of the woman), Nada untuk Asa (Song for Asa), which also became a movie, and Opera Dolorosa: Kemanusiaan of Titik Nadir (Opera Dolorosa: The risk to humanity).

A few days ago, Opera Dolorosa - written by Fr. Sulistyo along with novelist Ita Sembiring - was staged in the prestigious theater Ciputra Jakarta Art-preneur, arousing the enthusiasm of the spectators came from all over the archdiocese. The two priests told AsiaNews that by involving young people from different cultures and faiths, they want to present the Christian faith, but also preserve the great values ​​on which Indonesia is founded, the Pancasila [the five pillars of the Constitution ed].

Fr. Sulistyo explains that art is a perfect medium to do this, and "it is urgent to create inter-religious communities of different ethnic groups among young people". According to the priest, there are many good reasons to work together with non-Catholics: "We have a lot in common: the mission of building the nation with pride and commitment to create a more humane society".

Fr. Winarto, musical director of the show, is of the same opinion. He believes the Church must come out of itself to meet the people in their living environment: "There are people who are in very different places in society and the Church must go out to meet them and welcome them. It is only within this plural society that we can experience the 'core' of being Indonesian: Unity in Diversity ".

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