The Congregation of the Humble Sisters of St Joseph lacked the money to finish the construction of the hospital. After two years, Catholics from across the country expressed their solidarity. For a member of the organising committee, the event “was a true experience in discipleship.”
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Thousands of professionals, religious and young Catholics contributed to and attended a charity concert to raise funds to complete the construction of a hospital, which had been stalled for years.
The Congregation of the Little Sisters of Saint Joseph (Kongregasi Suster-suster Dina St Yoseph, DSY) in Manado did not have all the money to finish the project, but thanks to the solidarity of various dioceses across the country, the St Joseph Hospital will open in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai District (Flores island).
Work on the new hospital had started in 2015, and was 95 per cent complete when money ran out. In 2018, the nuns met some Jakarta Catholics at a fundraiser for the restoration of the St Gemma Galgani Cathedral in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. In mid-2019, a businessman and some faithful from South Tangerang (Banten) brought together some of the people to start a new humanitarian project, this time in favour of the hospital.
After inspecting the site, the group went ahead with the fundraiser. Professionals, doctors, financial experts, journalists, entertainment industry types, as well as many others from all walks of life joined in.
Members of a Catholic youth association, Orang Muda Katolik (OMK), also got involved, as did the bishops of Bogor and Denpasar and several priests from the Diocese of Jakarta.
Rather than a gala event at a luxury hotel, organisers decided last October to put on a concert, held last Saturday, in a less fancy location, namely the GBK Basketball Hall at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Arena[*] in downtown Jakarta, titled ‘A heartfelt offer to St Joseph hospital in Labuan Bajo’ (Persembahan Hati untuk St. Joseph Hospital Labuan Bajo).
Several Indonesian bishops were present at the event, as were thousands of people who filled the hall, mostly teenagers from orphanages run by religious communities in Tangerang, Bogor and Jakarta, as well as kids financially supported by the Archdiocese of Jakarta. Some wealthy Catholic families bought tickets for poor people so that they too could attend.
The artists who provided the entertainment included The Mokers Band, Brigitta Meliala, Jessica Januar, Angel Pieters, the John Paul II Choir, the Canisius Wind Ensemble and Maria Simorangkir.
At the end of the performance, DSY superior general, Sister Christina Tandayu, met local media to express her gratitude to those who made the event possible. She told reporters about her initial scepticism vis-à-vis a type of action so unusual for her and her Sisters.
Irene, one of the members of the organising committee, stressed that the evening was a real show of love and compassion. This was made possible by a social media campaign that put the spotlight on the hospital project, especially among Indonesian Catholics.
“The success of the humanitarian initiative in favour of St Joseph Hospital in Labuan Bajo is the work of the Lord, who has brought people together to work joyfully on a mission of charity,” Irene told AsiaNews. “It was a true experience of discipleship.”
(Photo credit concert: Sugianto Budiono. Photo credit hospital: Mathias Hariyadi).
[*] Formerly known as Senayan Sport Arena.