Denpasar: Young Indonesian Catholics celebrate Diocesan Day
The meeting, which was held last Saturday in preparation for the seventh Asian Youth Day, included Mass and celebrations. Young Indonesians are enthusiastic and committed to bear witness among Muslims.
Bali (AsiaNews) – More than a thousand young Catholics met on Saturday in a packed Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Denpasar (Bali), to mark the end of their preparation for the seventh Asian Youth Day (AYD) scheduled to take place on 29 July-6 August in Yogyakarta, archdiocese of Semarang, on the island of Java. For the steering and organizing committes the even will last until August 9th.
This year’s edition of AYD will be centred on "Joyful Asian Youth! Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia” and "we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God" (Acts 2:11). Bali is one of the dioceses to host young Catholics from around Asia. Some 50 are expected from Malaysia, 25 from Cambodia, and 90 from five other Indonesian dioceses.
The high point of the Denpasar meeting was an ‘inculturation’ Mass. The latter is the adaptation of Christian teachings to local languages and ways of thinking. Participants wore traditional Indonesian attire, and Balinese dancing was performed during the offertory.
Amid the enthusiasm of participants, three priests celebrated Mass, led by the parish priest of the Holy Spirit Cathedral, Fr Herman Yoseph Babey, who, at the start of the service, said "Together with all the young Catholics in Bali, we are preparing to receive the seventh AYD, because we believe it is a task entrusted to us by God, and God will always guide us in to be pioneers who always have trust in Him and in His strong hold."
During the homily, Fr Sebastianus Yordan Ado reminded the young people of the pope's message after the 6th AYD in South Korea, when he said that God sent young Catholics to be witnesses of His Kingdom.
The clergyman urged the youth of the diocese to be witnesses of God with courage and conviction. "Whether we like it or not, as Catholic youth, we must bear witnesses to the Gospel, not to ourselves but to others with joy. Bearing witnesses to the Gospel means putting Jesus first. God's commandments are more important than the commandments of priests or parents."
"Since Indonesian Catholic youth live in a Muslim-majority country, we must be happy that we have been entrusted with the seventh AYD. It is our responsibility to spread the reason for our joy, and the reason for our joy is the Good News. We possess the true source of Good News. Jesus is our model of life and we must spread the Good News with joy and commitment."
"I am already grateful for participating in the AYD here in Denpasar, supporting our friends who will represent the Denpasar diocese at AYD," said 20-year-old Jovita Orlin Sena.
"This meeting,” she added, “is also important to show that young people are important to the Church. This event demonstrates how young people are not just involved in their own thing and going out with friends but are also concerned with serving God and the Church and spending time with God and other Catholic youth. This reinforces our faith in God and serves our community and society in general."
At the end of the Mass, Fr Ado said that the Eucharist was the crowning moment of the preparation for the AYD in Denpasar diocese. He went on to say that he hoped that the diocese would be a good host, hospitable and friendly to the young people from Asia who will be in Denpasar for the AYD.
About 30 young people from the Denpasar diocese will be present at the AYD in the diocese of Semarang.
Yohanes Anasi Raga, 24, from St Mary Rosary parish in Gianyar (Bali), sees the AYD "as my responsibility and service to the Church along with [other] youth. It is really God’s gift to be able to participate in AYD."
After Mass, the meeting continued with the lighting of candles and the release of hundreds of white balloons into the night sky. A mop dance to the AYD theme song followed, with the event ending in a shared dinner.