Jakarta Archdiocese brings Year of Mercy to hungry kids

Jakarta Archdiocese brings Year of Mercy to hungry kids

Aug 24, 2016

JAKARTA: The Archdiocese of Jakarta has celebrated the Year of Mercy, announced last year by Pope Francis, with a special meal for poor children.

Around 100 children, mostly Muslims, were invited to the Aug. 20 event at the archdiocese's hall.

"We wanted to share with those in need regardless of their religious background," said Sovia Tjua, who organized the event.

"In this Year of Mercy we should not only think of ourselves, indeed, we should abandon our selfishness and share with those in need."

The Year of Mercy began on Dec. 8 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude on Nov. 20 on the Feast of Christ the King.

In a speech, the archdiocese's vicar-general, Father Samuel Pangestu encouraged Catholics to practice social welfare. "This is a form of divine mercy, which can free people from the shackles of sin," he said.

"Sharing with others is a common thing among Catholics," he told ucanews.com. "But it should not be done because we are so great but because we believe in God and it is the fruit of our mature faith."

As well as feeding the poor, the archdiocese has encouraged local Catholics to make pilgrimages to at least nine parish churches including Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral Church as well as nearby retreat houses.

Anastasia Ellin Subandi from St. James Parish in Kelapa Gading, North Utara, said she had visited more than nine parish churches. "I go on pilgrimages when I have time," she said. "I usually go with a group from my neighborhood."

She said that focusing on her faith has allowed her to let go of difficult emotions. "In the past, it was difficult for me to forgive others," she added. "But now I can feel at peace."

Rayendra Yudhika, 22, from St. John Bosco Parish in Sunter, North Jakarta, has visited four parish churches so far. "I started the pilgrimages in February," he said. "The pilgrimages help me grow in faith."

Yudhika said he is also using the Year of Mercy as a chance to partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. "I hadn't made a confession for two years," he said. "But the Year of Mercy is a great moment to take this sacrament.--Ucanindia.com


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