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Asian Youth Day a blessing for Semarang says archbishop ‎

Mongolian Catholic youth arriving in Indonesia for the 7th Asian Youtn Day. - RV

Mongolian Catholic youth arriving in Indonesia for the 7th Asian Youtn Day. - RV

31/07/2017 11:25

The head of the Indonesian Archdiocese of Semarang hosting the central event of the 7th Asian Youth ‎Day (AYD) considers it a “huge blessing” for the local Church.  Archbishop Robertus Rubiyatmoko of ‎Semarang, noted that the AYD challenges the region’s Catholic community to put into practice the ‎diocese’s missionary pastoral project for 2016-2035.  "Our greatest concern is for the Church to give ‎more room to our youth so that they can contribute more to the development and life of the Catholic ‎Church," he told AsiaNews.  ‎
The AYD got under way on Sunday with the preliminary ‘Days in the Dioceses’ (DID), where over ‎‎2000 young Catholic participants from 21 countries, including Indonesia, are being hosted in 11 of ‎Indonesia’s 37 dioceses from July 30 to August 2.   While living in local Catholic families, they will ‎share and learn about the faith and also celebrate and interact with local communities ‎and youth groups.‎ ‎
The young people will then converge in Yogyakarta city of Semarang Archdiocese for the main AYD ‎event, August 2-6, which will include a variety of events such as adoration, confession, Mass, ‎reflections, testimonies, workshops, group sharing, country exhibits and cultural performances.  The ‎theme of the 7th AYD is “Joyful Asian Youth: Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia‎!”‎

AYD - 'huge blessing'
In his latest pastoral letter to the diocese, Archbishop Rubiatmoko stressed that "the 7th edition of ‎AYD is a huge blessing for the archdiocese of Semarang."  "We must have great confidence in young ‎people and prepare them from now on to develop their skills so that they become community leaders in ‎society," said the prelate whom Pope Francis appointed on March 18.  The prelate urged all the bishops ‎to work together with youth. "With them we must plan our pastoral apostolate and together with them ‎we can create a culture of life and a civilisation of goodness."‎
AYD’s opening ceremony will take place at the Yogyakarta Convention Hall. The final ceremony will ‎be held at the Indonesian Airforce Academy.  Fr Johannes Dwi Harsanto, chairman of AYD Standing ‎Committee, said that at least 20,000 young Indonesians from Java and all other parts of the country are ‎expected for the closing event that will culminate with a Mass.‎

Messenger of evangelical joy
Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi, bishop of Ketapang, president of the Youth Commission of the ‎Catholic ‎Bishops' Conference of Indonesia (KWI), the presence of young Catholics from different nations and ‎from many provinces of Indonesia is a ‎symbol of what the Church represents: being the messenger of ‎evangelical joy.‎  ‎"I am excited and I welcome all the participants coming to Yogyakarta,” he told ‎AsiaNews.  ‎
The choice of Yogyakarta as the venue for the 7th AYD venue was obvious, given the city’s fame as a ‎centre of education, fine art, culture, literature and popular art.  Thousands of university ‎students from ‎many parts of the country converge in the multi-ethnic city. ‎
Bishop Prapdi said that the AYD, held in various cities of the Asia since 1999, owes it to St. John Paul ‎II who took young people seriously, recognizing ‎their concerns and hopes.  He thus challenged them to ‎give their lives for Christ, launching out in the New Evangelization.‎  ‎
‎"Young Asians, the Catholic Church gives you the task of proclaiming to the world the joy that ‎comes ‎from the encounter with Christ,” Bishop Prapdi urged.  “Welcome to Yogyakarta and enjoy this ‎precious ‎time to experience the evangelical joy in an atmosphere of pluralism and diversity in ‎Indonesia,"‎ he added. ‎  (Source: AsiaNews)


31/07/2017 11:25