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Indonesia: Bishop tells youth to "Rejoice and Pursue Chastity"

At the turn-over ceremony in Palembang Cathedral, youth hold the 2023 Indonesian Youth Day Cross (Photo credit: Komkep KWI). 

The Archbishop of Palembang, Yohanes Harun Yuwono, told young people to be happy in their pursuit of holiness.

The message was delivered at the 2023 Indonesian Youth Day (IYD) cross-launch in Palembang, Indonesia, on November 20.

Quoting Pope Francis, bishop Yuwono said that his apostolic Gaudete et Exultate (Rejoice and Rejoice) and Christus Vivit (Christ Lives) were actually born from the ideas of the Catholic youth around the world.

"Through a worldwide questionnaire, young people told the Holy Father: We want to live holy. Through Christus Vivit, the Holy Father returned the young people's longing," bishop Yuwono explained.

The prelate said that the apostolic exhortation Christus vivit shows how young Christ was and how young Catholics should live.

"Christ of eternal youth, in whom there is no despair, no quenching spirit, but a living spirit. He loves you! Never let go, and I will always help you in any situation. Therefore, young people be happy!" the bishop said.

Bishop Yuwono convinced the young people that Christ, who is passionate about youth, always has a solution to the challenges in his life. So, young Catholics must hold on to and follow Christ, which also means being ready to live a good and holy life.

"When young people practice compassion, society as a whole will flourish. But when the lives of young people are harmed, not only are they harmed, but so is society as a whole,” he remarked.

Reaffirming the Holy Father, the bishop said, 'Young people, you are the owners of the present and the future. You are the owner of both the future and the present. If your present is broken, don't imagine there is a future. But if your presentation is good, your future will be good." 

The Bishop also reminded the youth that the Church always loves young people.

"Blessed is the youth. The Church's uninterrupted attention is directed to you, and that is what the Church wants to express: God loves you very much,” he said. 

“Live in the presence of God with God's own spirit," said the Bishop.

He explained that living in the presence of God means pursuing holiness.

"Purchase piety, like our saints, who number in the thousands, and are willing to sacrifice themselves to protect themselves and the sanctity of the Church's teachings, live them, and proclaim them. Despite being a martyr, he still lived with the joy of faith," Bishop Yuwono said.

Bishops and youth attended the turning-over of the Indonesian Youth Day cross mass. 

The Youth Commission of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (KWI) started Indonesian Youth Day activities eight years ago.

The IYD of 2023 will have a theme of "Catholic Youth: Rise and Witness!"

Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi of Ketapang Diocese, Chair of the Indonesian Bishop Conference (KWI) youth commission, said that this theme is an invitation to young people, who are the present and the future, to rise above indifference and hardship, rush to build intentions, and use the time for kindness and love. 

"Welcome to the joyful IYD 2023 series. We see the IYD cross as a sign of the presence of Christ, who reigns in our time and all of our lives," said Bishop Prapdi. 

On the handover day, the IYD 3 cross was blessed, and the logo, theme song, website, and mascot were launched.

The first Indonesian Youth Day took place in October 2012 in Sanggau, West Kalimantan, with the theme "Rooted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Strengthened in the Faith."

The second Indonesian Youth Day was held on October 16, 2015, in Manado, North Sulawesi, with the theme "The Joy of Gospel Amidst Plural Society in Indonesia."-Kasmir Nema


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