2016-10-02 05:02:00

Second Indonesian Youth Day begins with live-in programme

The Second Indonesian Youth Da y (IYD) began in the host Diocese of Manado on Oct. 1, with 2600 youth from the country’s 37 dioceses living in families of Manado's 37 parishes. They have been allotted to mostly Catholic but also to Protestant and Muslim families. The theme of the Oct. 1-6 event, “The Joy of Gospel Amidst a Plural Society in Indonesia”, intends to emphasize that as a minority group, Catholics can live in harmony and brotherhood with people with other religions.  On the first three days of the youth event, participants will live in families, starting the day with Holy Mass in the local parish or a chosen centre and sharing of the Gospel at the end of the day there with other participants.  Before retiring for the day, they are to file a report on the day’s proceedings.

The Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish of Tuminting is hosting 56 young people, including 7 priests  from the diocese of Maumere in Flores Island.  One of them, Apriano Isidorus Aquino, staying with a Protestant family, told Vatican Radio his hosts immediately made him feel at home on his arrival on Sept. 29.   He is the guest of Palardus Situmorang and his wife Emmy Milos who are childless, but who are caring for 6 others.  Emmy, who is a pastor of a Protestant Church, said she volunteered on her own to host Apriano.    Talking to Vatican Radio through an interpreter, she said the relationship between her Church and the Catholic Church was excellent, marked by frequent mutual visits.  Palardus said he makes sure that Apriano is in touch with his family back home.  In the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia, of which Manado is the capital,  leaders of various religions have maintained excellent relations among their communities,  a feature that is not that pronounced in other parts of a nation, which is home to the largest Muslim  population in the world. 

Another young man, Alfonsus Seto, also from Maumere Diocese in Flores, also said his hosts, Joppy Pangkey and his wife Paulin Rawung, both teachers, helped him integrate quickly into the family soon after his arrival Sept. 29.  Joppy and Paulin, parents of three grown up children, including a nun,  were generous enough to accept hosting another youth, but he cancelled his plans.  Alfonsus, the 35- year old teacher of religion in school as well as youth leader in his parish,  said he feels Joppy and Pangkey are like his parents.  He has been helping Paulin her school, of which she is the headmistress.   All participants in the Indonesian Youth Day are expected to help out in the daily working of the family. 

Another young man, Christian Rahajaan from Agats Diocese in Papua, assigned to a family in Manado city’s St. Ignatius Parish, explained to Vatican Radio with a touch of humour that he feels being pampered and spoilt, as his hosts, a childless couple, don’t allow him to do any work at all in the house.

After lunch on Oct. 4, Tuesday, all participants of the Indonesian Youth Day will bid goodbye to their 'families' and converge on Klabat Stadium in Manado city, where in the presence of an expected 15,000 crowd, the Second Indonesian Youth Day will be formally declared open with a Holy Mass.  For the remaining days, the participants will be engaged in a variety of programmes such as  seminars, catechesis, adoration, confession and sharing of testimonies until the closing ceremony at night on Oct. 6.  The following day, participants will part ways and head back to their respective dioceses.  

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