12 December 2017
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  • » 08/07/2017, 17.22

    INDONESIA

    Pope Francis sends message to mark end of Asian Youth Day

    Mathias Hariyadi

    The pontiff calls on young Asians to look at the Mother of the Lord, and listen “ever more attentively to God’s call and respond with faith and courage to their vocation.” More than 20,000 Catholics from the island of Java join participants for the AYD’S closing ceremony. The 8th edition is slated for India, in 2020.

    Yogyakarta (AsiaNews) – Card Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, sent a message on behlf of Pope Francis to the young people who took part in the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD 2017) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on the theme of "Joyful Asian youth! Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia’.

    The Catholic youth meeting, which attracted more than 2,000 participants from 22 Asian countries, ended yesterday with a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the presence of the leaders of the Catholic Church of Asia and senior Indonesian government officials.

    In his message, the pope urged young people to be “ever more attentively to God’s call and respond with faith and courage to their vocation “.

    Before giving his Apostolic Blessing, the pontiff called on young Asians to look at the Mother of the Lord as a "model of missionary discipleship" and "speak to her as they would a mother,’ as well as “trust always in her loving intercession."

    More than 20,000 Catholics from the island of Java, along with AYD participants, took part in the closing ceremony (pictures 1 and 2), held at the Indonesian Air Force Academy in Yogyakarta. The service was led by Card Oswald Gracias of Mumbai (India).

    Card Louis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila (Philippines), Card Patrick D'Rozario, archbishop of Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Card Julius Darmaatmadja, archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta (Indonesia), co-celebrated the function.

    In his homily, Mgr Ignatius Suharyo, archbishop of Jakarta and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Indonesia (KWI), mentioned the spiritual experience of St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross and of a Javanese catechumen. He urged AYD delegates to bear "witness" to God’s glory.

    The latter “sometimes manifests itself in the face and heart of humans who can transform hardship into a biblical joy,” Mgr Suharyo.

    The archbishop of Jakarta urged young people to stand together and united despite their differences on the basis of three Christian virtues: faith, hope, and love.

    In a reference to St Irenaeus’s famous line, Gloria Dei, vivens homo (The glory of God is a living human), the archbishop said, “May all of us be blessed with the joy of biblical virtues so that our daily life may be enriched and shine the glory of God that has made it possible to spiritually improve our lives.”

    At the end of the ceremony, the KWI president made a plea for peace and coexistence, a very current topic in Indonesian society and politics. In recent months, a number of incidents of intolerance against religious minorities have been recorded in Indonesia.

    Despite the Islamist push by some radical political movements and political parties, many civil society groups have reiterated the need to defend pluralism, the foundation of the Indonesian nation.

    The Catholic Church plays an important role in interfaith dialogue, and the AYD became an important venue for this, with some moderate Muslim organisations and several Muslim leaders taking part in the event.

    Important government officials (pictured 3) were present at the closing ceremony, including Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Youth and Sport Minister Imam Nahrawi, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan, and Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X. Provincial army and police chiefs as well as the governor of the Indonesian Air Force Academy were also present.

    In his address, Mgr Suharyo praised the national values of the founding fathers and invited young people to become peacemakers.

    Indonesian Vice President Kalla spoke reiterating the spirit of pluralism and mutual respect the nation needs.

    "We Indonesians know very well our national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity). It means that our power lies in our diversity,” he explained.

    The vice president then praised the spirit of AYD. "I am proud to be here with all of you, for I am well aware that the future of Asian nations lies in the hands of young people."

    At the sound of a gong, a traditional Javanese musical instrument, the vice president finally declared the 7th edition of AYD closed.

    Card Oswald Gracias, president of the Federation of Asia Bishops' Conferences (FABC), announced that the 8th edition would be held in India in 2020 (pictured 4).

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    See also

    08/07/2006 PHILIPPINES - ASIAN YOUTH DAY
    70 Filipino youth headed for Hong Kong to join Asian Youth Day

    The Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has announced the imminent departure of 70 youth to Hong Kong for the fourth Asian Youth Day. This year, the event is expected to draw more than 1000 youth and its focus is: "Youth, Hope of Asian Families."



    27/06/2008 INDIA
    Some 500 Indian youth WYD bound
    The young delegates will be accompanied by 14 bishops and 80 priests and religious. Before arriving in Sydney they will experience Australia’s Catholic life staying with host families. Indian bishops are hopeful this experience will help them contribute to their country’s development.

    05/10/2011 PHILIPPINES
    Fr. D'Ambra: education of young path to Islamic-Christian dialogue
    The missionary is the founder of Silsilah, a movement for interreligious dialogue in Zamboanga. The formation of young Christians and Muslims open hearts of even more traditionalist Muslims. In 25 years, over 2 thousand young people become active leaders in their communities.

    25/11/2010 INDONESIA
    Java: cooperation and dialogue intensifies between moderate Muslims and Christians
    Sowing the seeds of tolerance, mutual understanding and a good knowledge of Islam is key to improving relations between the Christian and Muslim communities. In November, an interfaith meeting with students to educate young people to have an open mind.

    23/12/2005 RUSSIA
    Christmas anti-Catholic picket called off

    The deacon who launched the initiative has had a small message posted on his website to call the picket off. Catholics are still worried: "Thousands of people know about the picket, but few are aware it's been called off".





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