Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Catholic Church in Indonesia is celebrating the ordination of nine priests, all of them seminarians from the Indonesian Province of the Society of Jesus.
Mgr Johannes Pujasumarta, archbishop of Semarang, led the ceremony yesterday in St Anthony Parish in Kotabaru, in the heart of Yogyakarta (Central Java).
Just before the service, the prelate posted a message on Twitter urging all Christians to "pray for the Jesuit seminarians, so that they can be good priests until their death."
Yesterday's ordination is just the latest in Central Java, especially in the Archdiocese of Semarang, which makes the province the most "fruitful" and vital part of the Church in Indonesia.
Three other seminarians, all missionaries of the Holy Family (MSF), were ordained in Yogyakarta on 10 July by Mgr Julianus Sunarko SJ, bishop of Purwokerto.
More ordinations are set for the immediate future: five seminarians belonging to the Salesian Cooperators (SSCC) will make their promise in August in Yogyakarta; five or six seminarians of the diocese of Semarang will do the same in October.
In Indonesia, Christians represent about 11.8 per cent of a population of more than 237 million people. Catholics are 2.3 per cent.
Despite attacks and cases of persecution attributed to Islamic extremist groups, the Indonesian Church is very active with about 3,000 priests in 37 dioceses.