05/22/2023, 14.17
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Focolare president in Indonesia to promote dialogue

by Mathias Hariyadi

After various stops in Asia-Pacific region, Margaret Karram together with a delegation of the movement met several Indonesian groups. For many Indonesian Catholics, the event was an opportunity to learn about the spirituality of the Focolare movement, which has a chapter in Yogyakarta.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Representatives of the International Focolare Movement are currently in Indonesia to promote dialogue and fraternity. On Saturday, they met with the local community.

The group includes Focolare President Margaret Karram and Vice President Jesus Moran together with a hundred focolarini from Italy, Germany, Lebanon, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

Their visit is part of a trip that has taken them to several countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In Indonesia they met various local groups, accompanied by Card Ignatius Suharyo.

For many Indonesian Catholics, the event provided an opportunity to learn about the spirituality of this movement.

The visit began in Panongan, a district in Tangerang regency (Banten province), on the island of Java, first at the MTs Al Bisriyyin Women's College and followed by the Food Resilience Group in Pamonang.

In Yogyakarta they met the local Focolare group and celebrated a festive Eucharist at the Sacred Heart parish church in Ganjuran.

The key moment was a seminar at Atma Jaya Catholic University, south of Jakarta, with at least 250 participants from different countries in the Asia-Pacific region, either in person or online.

Gennie, from Myanmar, told one of the most poignant stories at the seminar, speaking about her country’s critical situation since the military seized power. Since then, people have developed a great sense of solidarity and concern for others, in the spirit promoted by the Focolare movement.

Another important story was that of Lawrence Chong, who – inspired by the ideas of the movement’s founder in 1991, Chiara Lubich, based on the concept of an "Economy of Communion" – set up a business in Singapore explicitly focused on people's needs.

The firm, Consulus, of which Chong is the CEO, aims to take care of its employees. "We are convinced that a corporate culture based on a common project is essential for inclusive growth," Chong said at the meeting.

Sister Anastasia Ratnawati, a member of the Indonesian Ursuline Congregation, stressed the importance of respect, dialogue and transparency, three virtues that can underpin the unity of purpose between teachers and other staff at her Jakarta school.

For his part, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Piero Pioppo urged the Focolarini to boost their presence in Indonesian society to promote the country’s diversity.

President Margaret Karram responded to this call by saying that "the stories heard can only enrich our movement since dialogue is the path to peace and fraternity.”

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