Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In the name of 'Catholicity' and union with Pope Francis, Indonesian believers celebrated the hour of Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration. In the Diocese of Purwokerto, in central Java, thousands of people took part in the universal prayer, led by Bishop Julianus Sunarko SJ.
For years, Indonesians in various parts of the country have participated ceremonies of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, along with pilgrimages to other places of worship like the caves dedicated to the Virgin. The Cave of Gua Maria Kerep in Ambarawa (Semarang, since 2007), the Chapel of the Sacred Heart in Tanah Mas (also in Semarang, since 2011) and the Chapel of St Paul in Darantan (Yogyakarta, since 2011) are three historic landmarks that stand out.
Last Sunday, the Catholic Church met in prayer at the same time but in different time zones around the world, gathered before the ostentorium in silence, singing, reading the Bible and reciting prayers written by the most recent popes, from Pius XII to Benedict XVI. In Rome, the Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration began at 5 pm and ended at 6. In Jakarta, it began at 11 pm and ended at Midnight.
Like many other dioceses of the Indonesian archipelago, Semarang and Purwokerto have special places of worship dedicated to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which the faithful visit throughout the year. On the occasion of the worldwide adoration, all of the country's cathedrals, churches and shrines saw a higher than expected turnout.
"Every corner [of the cathedral] was packed with worshippers intent on reciting the prayers of Taizé or in silent adoration," Mgr Sunarko SJ said. "The atmosphere was moving" and the prayer of the faithful was "intense," the prelate added, with the service lasting longer than planned.
"I hope that such deep spiritual experiences can help strengthen the faith of Christ in everyday life," he said.
In Indonesia, the hour of universal Eucharistic adoration was not limited to churches and cathedrals, but took place in convents, monasteries and cloistered nunneries as well.
This was the case for the Trappist nuns of the Convent of Mount Merbabu, in Salatiga (central Java) who wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Semarang confirming their participation.
In it, Superior Martha Driscoll OCSO, from the Cistercian monastery in Gedono, described the atmosphere of meditation and prayer that filled the hour of adoration.
"Friends and local Catholics took part in that moment," she said, "joining us in prayer" inside the convent walls.