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Indonesian Catholic Bishops’ Conference head urges youth to rise and witness

Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunjamin, OSC (third from left) and Father Frans Kristi Adi Prasetya (second from right), together with Joyful Run Committee Chair Patricia Rusli and Joyful Run Media Publication Head Lawrence Tjandra (Photo credit: Mirifica News)

Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunjamin O.S.C., Chair of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (KWI), told Young Catholics (OMK) that Indonesian Youth Day (IYD) is a chance to stand up and testify as active members of the Church and society.

Bishop Bunjamin made this statement at a news conference about IYD at the KWI Office in Cikini, Jakarta, on Thursday, May 11.

"The main message for Catholic youths at IYD 2023 is "Young Catholics, Arise and Witness!" Bishop said. "It encourages young people to love God and the Church increasingly and want to be involved in building the Indonesian nation by caring for and sharing with others in pluralism and diversity." 

The Indonesian Youth Day (IYD) will be conducted in Palembang, Sumatra province, from June 26–30, 2023. The third IYD's theme will be "Rise and be a witness," which draws inspiration from World Youth Day's central theme.

IYD takes place after a two-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first Indonesian Youth Day (IYD) occurred in Sanggau in 2012, Manado in 2016, and Palembang in 2017. The goal of IYD 2023 is to engage 2,000 young Catholics.

Father F. Kristi Adi Prasetya, chairman of the Indonesian Youth Day III Palembang 2023 Steering Committee, stated that numerous activities would welcome IYD, including the Joyful Run.

This walk-and-run event at Flavor Bliss, Alam Sutera-Tangerang, promotes diversity and sharing.

Father Prasetya said: "Joyful Run will also serve as a means of introducing IYD to the larger community and an invitation to participate in fundraising to ensure the success of IYD 2023.

The priest added besides the Joyful Run activities, IYD hosts three- to four-day live-in activities in several dioceses to encourage participants to experience life with individuals from diverse religious, cultural, and social backgrounds.

In these live-in activities, Catholic youths visited the Bantargebang neighborhood in Jakarta, the Nelayan Village neighborhood in Surabaya, the Orphanage for Orphans in Purwokerto, brothers and sisters with disabilities in Ruteng, and the Dayak Kaharingan community in Banjarmasin to experience their lives and cultures.

Father Prasetya hoped live-in activities would help young Catholics realize the necessity of accepting diversity and promoting cooperation.

Eucharistic and Opening Celebrations kick off IYD 2023 on June 26. In-depth conferences on the environment, digital catechism, and family helped participants understand rising and witnessing on the second and third days.

Participants will tour Palembang's religious communities and plant trees while commenting on each other's personalities.

An affirmation discussion show will synthesize all messages and follow-up strategies on the fourth and final day of IYD. The closing Eucharist and participating Indonesian art performances will be the finale. - Kasmir Nema


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