01/09/2016, 00.00
INDONESIA

Jakarta: “Life", the country's first Catholic weekly magazine marks 70 years

Mathias Hariyadi
"Hidup" (life) was founded on Jan. 5, 1946 by a Dutch Jesuit, missionary in Jakarta. Since then it has always been the benchmark for Indonesian Catholic news, building a bridge between the church leadership and congregations. Free online version launched three years ago.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The first Indonesian Catholic weekly ("Hidup", which means "life") is marking 70 years, and the Christian community celebrated the event with a Mass in Jakarta Cathedral celebrated by Msgr. Ignatius Suharyo, archbishop of the capital.

Developed from a simple bulletin of the Assumption parish in Jakarta Hidup was founded on Jan. 5, 1946 , originally named De Katholieke Week in double Indonesian and Dutch translation (until 1954 Indonesia was colony of Holland). The founder was the Dutch Jesuit Fr. L. Swaans SJ, who was a missionary in Batavia (the colonial name of Jakarta).

"I have read Hidup since I was little”, says Fr. France de Sales, Director of Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Palembang. “This Catholic weekly helps to build bridges between the church hierarchy and the various congregations ".
In 1957 by Fr. Poel SJ became editor and remained until 1963, changing the name to Hidup Katolik (Catholic life). In 1970, under editor Fr. Knooren SJ, it returned to the original name.

Hidup is still a reference point for Catholic news from the country, although it is facing the same difficulties as other press around the world, in the battle between print and online editions. The editors of the magazine realized quickly that Indonesians readers prefer online editions rather than magazines, so three years ago they created an online version of the magazine on the Internet, accessible for free. Moreover, to secure a wider range of readers even among the very young, Hidup launched a version called Cathkids.

The magazine covers the life of the Church in Indonesia and in recent times has been enriched thanks to the contribution of many bishops, who write articles on various topics, especially the biblical perspective of weekly readings. Hidup also publishes short essays by Catholic intellectuals and lay figures of the country.

The magazine now belongs to the Archdiocese of Jakarta and for the past two years the director is a lay person.

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