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Holy Mass 'remains important'

Priests stress importance of church attendance as congregation numbers fall

Cintya Rusli (holding microphone) talks to participants of the seminar Cintya Rusli (holding microphone) talks to participants of the seminar
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • June 13, 2011
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Attending Holy Mass in church remains important to Catholics in order to strengthen their faith as well as their relationship with God and their neighbors, priests maintain.

“Attending Holy Mass helps us relate with God. It also touches our faith,” according to Father Yohanes Dwi Harsanto, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission for Youth.

He was speaking to 150 Catholics attending a seminar yesterday entitled Why We Must Go To Church at St. Theresa Church in Menteng, c`entral Jakarta.

They were discussing ways of addressing dwindling attendances at church services.

“Going to church [for a Holy Mass] aims to strengthen our spirituality,” he continued. “So it is an important parental task to encourage their children to go to church.”

Salesian Father Petrus Tukan from Don Bosco Church in Danau Sunter, North Jakarta, said he has started visiting families.

“I have visited 300 families and found that some did not go to church,” he said, adding that he told them attending Holy Mass in church “is important since we are a community.”

He said some parishioners told him that they did not need to go to church because they had done good things.

Jesuit Father Telephorus Krispurwana Cahyadi, who teaches at the Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta, lamented that some Catholics did not attend a Holy Mass because they found Protestant church activities more entertaining.

“The Eucharist does not make us individualists,” he remarked, saying that Holy Mass “is important for us to make love real.”

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