08/03/2019, 12.57
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Jakarta, National Missionary Congress: Baptized and sent out into the world

by Mathias Hariyadi

The event that will end tomorrow.  It was born in preparation for the extraordinary missionary month of October 2019, commissioned by Pope Francis.  The pontiff sends a message to the participants: "Baptism as a leaven in society, to carry forward the message of Jesus".


 Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Responding to the call of Pope Francis and promoting the mission of every Catholic within society: This is the aim of the National Missionary Congress in Indonesia, which is taking place these days in North Jakarta.  With the theme "Baptized and sent to proclaim the Gospel", the event of the Bishops' Conference (Kwi) opened last August 1 and will end tomorrow.  400 people take part, coming from the 37 dioceses of the vast archipelago.  The pontiff sent them a video message, inviting the faithful to experience baptism in private life but also "as a leaven in society, to carry the message of Jesus" (video).

 The Congress was born in preparation for the extraordinary missionary month of October 2019, which Pope Francis announced to commemorate the centenary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter "Maximum illud".  This was announced to AsiaNews by Fr.  Markus Nur Widipranoto, priest of the Archdiocese of Semarang (Central Java) and national director of the Pontifical Missionary Works.  "In a nutshell - he says - these four days of conferences are the response of the Indonesian Church to the Pope's appeal for a new missionary commitment".  The initiative is the result of intense meetings and collaboration among those responsible for the mission throughout the dioceses of the country.

Fr. Widipranoto identified certian challenges that need to be overcome in order to promote the missionary thrust of Catholics throughout the surrounding communities.  Citing the words with which the Kwi presented the Congress, the priest underlines: "Missionary work is not a program or a project at all.  It reveals itself through our everyday life ".  For this reason, participants are invited to address and discuss different topics: the Maximum Illud and its message;  the socio-cultural situation of today's Indonesia;  the "Industrial Revolution 4.0" presented by the Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, Ignasius Jonan;  religion and politics between nationalism and internationalism;  the national missionary Church.  The Congress will finally be concluded by the debate on a common action plan.

Msgr. Aloysius Maryadi Sutrisnaatmaka, bishop of Palangka Raya (Central Kalimantan) and president of the Episcopal Commission for Missionary Works, reaffirmed the urgent need to encourage teamwork among the clergy and the laity.  "Jesus calls us to the mission of the Church," he stressed in his opening address to the Congress.  "Our task in society will not be fruitful if we do not cooperate;  if we do not open hearts and minds to the assistance and contribution of non-consecrated persons.  Their presence and participation is fundamental ".


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