Jakarta Archdiocese celebrates the family, 'the first church' for Catholics

The Archdiocese of Jakarta this year marked the 210th the anniversary of the first Catholic mission in Batavia, the name of the Indonesian capital during Dutch colonial rule. Various parish communities came together for thanksgiving Masses.

Jun 17, 2017

By Mathias Hariyadi
The Archdiocese of Jakarta this year marked the 210th the anniversary of the first Catholic mission in Batavia, the name of the Indonesian capital during Dutch colonial rule.

Various parish communities came together for thanksgiving Masses. In parallel, a forum dedicated to ‘Family, School, Life’ was held on 1st June in Kemayoran (Central Jakarta) with open discussions and a festive Eucharistic celebration

Organised by the Jakarta Archdiocese Family Committee, it brought together about 3,000 young people for the purpose of sharing various perspectives and opinions on the true value ??of "being a Catholic family".

The conference found inspiration from the challenges that modern times throw at the family, which must be dealt with thoroughly and correctly. Yet, for Lydia Kusnadi, "The Catholic faith grows, develops and generates new values inside the family”.  

A number of speakers spoke about different topics of great interest from their own professional perspectives, such as communication in families, the roles of husband and wife, raising special needs children, the sexuality of the couple, family finances management, finding a Catholic partner, re-marriage.

"Every participant was able to choose the topic he or she was most interested in it," Lydia Kusnadi told AsiaNews.

For Fr Andang L. Binawan, a member of the steering committee, "These issues are very important and require public discussion, because in our modern world self-centredness is growing strongly in Catholic families, whilst making compromises has declined in a remarkable way."

Programme chairman Felix Wira Putera explained that the Catholic family "is the first church for children, the first place where they come into contact with their religious identity."

Mgr Ignatius Suharyo, archbishop of Jakarta, closed the event by officiating a celebratory Mass. Addressing the assembly, he reminded those present that the meeting took place on the same day that Indonesians celebrate Pancasila Day, i.e. the pluralistic doctrine on which the state is founded.

In his homily, Mgr Suharyo said, "This conference on the family must push everyone, especially Catholics, to develop good values ??in families.”

“It is,” he went on to say, “an invitation for Catholic families to socialise with neighbours as good tolerant Indonesian citizens. This is a reference to pastoral motto of the archdiocese of Jakarta: 'For a fairer and more civilised humanity’.” --Asia News

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Sunday Reflection

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time: That woman is Ourselves

Mark calls her “a Greek” but Matthew uses the ancient name “Canaanite,” a reference to the original inhabitants of the Holy Land, who were conquered by the Israelites some twelve centuries before the time of Jesus. Matthew recognises that this encounter between the woman from the area of Tyre and Sidon and Jesus is about an outsider “wanting in.” So he heightens the drama by identifying her as a member of that group of pagans who were Israel’s first enemies (after the Egyptians, of course).