Representatives and missionaries from 70 countries participated in the worldwide Indonesian Catholic Diaspora Easter celebration on May 7.
The virtual event’s theme was “Indonesia to the Continents.”
The program was dedicated to Indonesian missionaries around the world.
The president of the Indonesian Catholic Bishops' Conference (KWI), Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo delivered Easter greetings to Indonesian Catholic missionaries and families abroad.
He thanked families and missionaries from the country who serve around the world.
According to the cardinal, in Indonesia, there are still many places for special vocations to become priests, nuns and brothers
He also mentioned that Pope Francis has called Indonesia a fertile land for vocations.
"We can see that in church life, many Indonesian missionaries are sent to various countries in the world, even to conflict areas and dangerous places," the cardinal said.
He said that many international congregations are led by religions originating from Indonesia.
A few priests, brothers and nuns come from Muslim families; some of them are the only child in the family and many come from rich families. It is because they feel that happiness in life comes from service. They leave everything behind for the sake of the Gospel and respond to God’s call,” the cardinal explained.
“We all have the same calling, namely the call to grow towards the perfection of holiness, to grow to reach the perfection of love and the fullness of Christian life, whoever we are,” he said.
According to the Chairman of the Joint Organizing Committee for Easter with the Indonesian Catholic Diaspora, AM Putut Prabantoro, in Jakarta, what Pope Francis' message conveyed during the celebration of “Vita Consacrata” (Consecrated Life) on February 2, 2022, became the foundation idea for the Easter celebration with the Indonesian Catholic Diaspora.
Indonesia is seen as the island of vocation to priesthood and missionary lives, Prabantoro said.
In his remark, Prabantoro thanked all people and parties, including the Catholic Director General of Public Relations who were present, and the Indonesian ambassadors to the Vatican, Zimbabwe and Suriname.
This Easter celebration began with the Mass led by Father Leonardus Mali in Rome, Italy.
In his homily, Father Agustinus Purnama Sastrawijaya from Norway, superior general of the Congregation of Missionaries of the Holy Family (M.S.F.), recalled the past when many missionaries from Europe came to Indonesia and helped the Indonesian people.
Currently, the situation is different, Indonesian missionaries are invited to help become missionaries in the world for the church.
“Whoever is sent by God, God Himself through His Holy Spirit will give strength, will give something extraordinary,” he said.
Earlier, Father Mali, who is an adviser to the organizing committee for Easter activities, explained that the tradition of celebrating Christmas and Easter together has been virtually carried out by the worldwide Catholic diaspora network since 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Although this year's theme is 'Indonesia to the Continents', the meaning remains the same as the previous year's theme, namely 'Indonesia for the whole world'," he clarified.
The Indonesian Catholic Diaspora who attended the event online is located in 70 countries spread across five continents—America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
For the first time, the Easter celebration with the Indonesian Catholic Diaspora Worldwide involved five organizations—the Indonesian Catholic Journalists Association (PWKI), Indonesian Missionaries, the Association of Indonesian Missionaries in the Eternal City of Rome (IRRIKA), the Indonesian Diaspora and Catholic Family Network (KKI), The Association of Indonesian Catholic Scholars (ISKA), and is fully supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) for the Holy See (Vatican).
In addition to the Holy Mass, two Indonesian missionaries abroad, namely, Jesuit Father Parwoto, who is currently serving in Myanmar and also Sister Elis Korlina SSpS, currently in Cuba shared their pastoral experiences. - Emiliana Saptaningsih
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