On the third day of the meeting, the prelates shared their personal experiences as priests and community leaders in their respective dioceses. The meeting with Dutch missionaries and Passionist Fathers pushed Mgr Pius Riana Prapdi and Mgr Agustinus Agus to follow their vocation.
Pontianak (AsiaNews) – Tree Indonesian bishops urged participants in the national gathering of young Catholics in the Archdiocese of Pontianak (West Kalimantan) to be good with others, as "men and women of the mission".
Entitled ‘Disseminating the joy of the Bible within diversity", the event was organised by the Pontifical Society of Young Missionaries (Serikat Kepausan Anak dan Remaja Misioner, SEKAMI in Indonesian) between 3 and 6 July.
On the third day of the meeting, the three prelates shared with the young people their personal experiences as priests and community leaders in their respective dioceses.
The three are Mgr Agustinus Agus, archbishop of the diocese that hosted the meeting; Mgr Pius Riana Prapdi, bishop of the Diocese of Ketapang (also in West Kalimantan); and Mgr Aloysius Sudarso, archbishop of Palembang (South Sumatera).
The young people listened to their stories sitting on the floor, without fear of asking questions that were often very personal.
Originally from Yogyakarta (Central Java), Mgr Prapdi spoke about the humble and simple family life of his childhood.
The question that beset him at the time was: "What to eat today"? Since he was the first child, it was up to him to provide meals for his siblings.
"We were used to sharing food,” he said, “and I was happy to do so. For this reason, sharing good things has become a personal commitment in my service to the diocese and to the Catholic community ".
Like Mgr Sudarso, Mgr Prapdi never thought of becoming a priest, even less a bishop. However, the frequent relations with Dutch missionaries in the province of South Sumatra contributed to their vocation and entry into the Palembang seminary.
Born in a small and remote village of the Diocese of Sanggau (West Kalimantan), Mgr Agus also never expected to become a priest.
His adolescence was marked however by the encounter with some foreign missionaries: the Passionist Fathers. It took them days to reach his and the other villages in the forest, showing courage and commitment.
"If foreigners can face all this, why should I not do the same for the good of my people (tribal Dayak)?" asked Mgr Agus.
The day after the meeting with young people, the three bishops led the solemn Mass that concluded the national "jamboree" (video).