2016-10-07 10:19:00

Indonesian Youth Day comes to an end

After six days of prayer, reflection, testimonies, catechesis and a 3-day live-in programme, the curtain came down on the Second Indonesian Youth Day (IYD2) with a Mass Thursday night in Manado. The animated concluding Mass, Oct. 6, at the ‘Amphitheatre’ of the Catholic Youth Centre at Lotta, was followed by a programme of speeches, songs, dances and entertainment by the various diocesan regions of the nation, that dragged late into the night. The IYD, Oct. 1-6, had as its theme, “The Joy of Gospel amidst a Plural Society in Indonesia”.  

Bishop Pius Prabdi of Ketapang, the chairman of the Youth Commission of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, presided over the concelebrated Mass in which 17 other bishops joined him at the altar, while over a 100 priests concelebrated a little away from the altar.   Many of them helped in distributing Holy Communion.  Numerous IYD2 participants turned up in their ethnic costumes or IYD T-shirts for the Eucharistic celebration in Bahasa which was animated by two choirs.

Bishop Antonius Subianto of Bandung who delivered an engrossing homily at Mass, urged the nation’s young Catholics to trust in the Lord, saying ordinary things will become extraordinary in the hands of the Lord.  No matter how much man tries, he said, nothing will be possible without the hand of God.  “By doing what God wants through Jesus, what is impossible to man becomes possible,” the 48-year old bishop said.   “Whatever Jesus says, do it,” Bishop Subianto urged in his sermon that was greeted with few applauses.   Reminding them that they are not only the future of the Church, but also its present, the bishop said the Church is in their hands.   He explained that if we keep our life to ourselves, it will  just be ordinary, instead if we put it in the hands of God then life becomes extraordinary.

Later in the Mass, the offertory procession of fruits, flowers and gift packets were carried to the altar by young people dressed in typical South Sulawesi style.  When the time came to exchange the sign of peace, the young people broke into a peace song with claps.  After the final blessing, several bishops joined their young people and the entire congregation burst into a spirited action IYD theme song.  After dinner, the youth returned to the Amphitheatre for a series of song, dance, music, and tableau.

The IYD began on Oct. 1 with participants living in families for 3 days.  For the first time, all the participants came together on Oct. 4 for the IYD inauguration Mass at Manado’s Klabat Stadium, which was preceded by a spectacular ethnic parade and display.  The following morning, participants listened to some 30 catechesis, testimonies and lively interactions in 15 centres in the Pineleng zone. The afternoon was dedicated to profoundly spiritual moments of silence, prayer, reconciliation and peace, concluding with confessions.

The next Indonesian Youth Day has not been announced.  The country’s bishops are likely to decide on it in their meeting.   


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