The "Days in the Diocese" for Asian Youth Day 2017

Representatives from 16 countries met on 20-24 March at the Sanjaya Pastoral Centre in Muntilan, the ‘Bethlehem of Java’ for the ‘Days of the Diocese’. The goal was to rehearse 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD) scheduled for 30 July-6 August 2017.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Preliminary meetings have been held in preparation of the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD), scheduled for 30 July-6 August 2017 in Yogyakarta, Central Java. 

In Indonesia, representatives from 16 countries met on 20-24 March during the ‘Days of the Diocese’ at the Sanjaya Pastoral Centre in Muntilan, a place known as the Bethlehem of Java in the central part of the island by the same name. The meeting was the fifth organised to prepare the upcoming event.

Although it was not the first, the gathering in Muntilan was used to rehearse the 7th AYD. Several important officials from the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) were present, coming from continent’s four regions: East Asia (South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau), South-East Asia One (Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia), Asia South-East Two (Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines) and South Asia (India and Bangladesh).

Representatives of Catholic Organisations for Youth in Asia (COYA) were also present.

Fr Dwiharsanto, head of the Steering Committee and former Executive Secretary of the Commission of Youth of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference, said that "even two bishops attended the meeting: Mgr Joel Baylon, head of the Office of Laity and Family of the FABC, and Mgr Cornelius Sim, bishop of the Sultanate of Brunei."

Representatives from the Indonesia’s 11 dioceses also attended. Foreign participants to the five-day ‘Days in the Diocese’ were hosted by Catholic congregations.

The event enabled participants to live with “new families” and experience Indonesia’s multicultural, multiethnic and multi-religious society.

Mgr Sim told AsiaNews that "after this meeting in Muntilan, young Brunei Catholics will be better motivated by the spirit to participate in this international event. Young Indonesians and volunteers are enthusiastic and we are delighted to be part of the next World Day. "

For Mgr Joel Baylon, young people taking part in the 7th AYD in Indonesia "are spiritually and morally motivated to understand the real situation of the countries in which they live and in which they participate in the Church's life.”

Hence, “We encourage them to reflect upon their real life with other people from different cultures, languages, traditions, and values."