For Christmas, Indonesian Catholics promote the apostolate instead of consumerism

December 18, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

The holiday is exploited by merchants and businessmen for money. In response, the faithful give a new boost to morale and to the work of evangelization. The web and the free contribution of lay volunteers are essential for the announcement. At Christmas, a group of catechumens will be baptized. The encounter with the Muslim community.

For Christmas, Indonesian Catholics promote the apostolate instead of consumerismIndonesia, December 17, 2012: To give a new impetus to Christian morale; promote the proclamation of the Good News also through the web; strengthen the role of catechists in the work of evangelization, especially in remote areas of the archipelago; and facilitate the encounter with the Muslim community. In the run-up to Christmas, when merchants and businessmen think about money and business, Indonesian Catholics intend to revive the values ​​of “apostolate and brotherhood” not only among the faithful, but at the same time embracing the Muslim majority. Supermarkets, department stores and shops “exploit” the holiday atmosphere to invite people to “stop and buy.” However, starting from the example of a parish in the province of West Java, Catholics are seeking to boost the “spiritual” value of the holiday, in spite of growing commercialization.

Yesterday, in the parish of St. Michael in Kranji, in the district of West Bekasi, an event took place that was “uncommon” for Indonesia, to say the least. A group of faithful wanted to hold a public meeting during which they discussed Catholic morale and the lay apostolate, the mission of the Church and the task of proclaiming the Word of God. The event, which had been postponed several times in the recent past, was attended by hundreds of people who packed the main hall of the parish. First an elderly married couple spoke, with a long experience as catechists behind them, who told of their commitment to spread “words” and “stories” about God and the Church among their neighbours.

In Indonesia, catechists have a “crucial” role, helping priests and missionaries in the work of announcing the Gospel, particularly in agricultural areas and in the more far-flung parts of the archipelago. Lay preachers, they work for free “to demonstrate their love for the Church.” These are flanked by the work of those who promote the evangelization on the Internet and with the use of the new media, as evidenced by the experience of the magazine Catholic Hidup and the online portal

The apostolate on the web and in the media is based on the “voluntary” assistance of the faithful, professional and non-professional IT operators, who do not receive any financial compensation for their work. However, it has manifested vigorous growth and shows the importance of the web for reaching a growing audience, including non-Christians. Among the other activities planned during these weeks of Advent, the Archdiocese of Semarang and the Diocese of Purwokerto have organized courses for catechumens who will be baptized on Christmas Eve. Other parishes have instead launched fundraising campaigns to help poor and needy faithful. In particular, St. Joseph of Sidareja has created a collection to contribute to the restructuring of some houses in the countryside, with no flooring or lacking furniture and other essential components.

Finally, Christmas has become an opportunity for encounter and exchange with the Muslim majority, so that the holiday may be not only a “Catholic” celebration. In the parish of St. Joseph, the priest Fr. Vidi Wahudi Pr has wished to send an invitation to the moderate Muslim organizations Pemuda Ansor and Banser, part of the national movement Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), asking them to participate in the celebrations, guaranteeing (along with the police) the security and peace of the entire community.

– asianews

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.