Archbishop Johannes Maria Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta of Semarang (center) leads a Holy Mass opening the month-long pastoral care program in Sleman district, Yogyakarta
A group of 27 priests from several congregations along with two Notre Dame nuns and a Protestant pastor have begun a month-long program in Sleman district aimed at improving pastoral care for parishioners.
The program, titled “Developing the Church in the World: From Actual Challenges to Professional Pastoral Work,” began on Monday with a Holy Mass and will continue through August 8.
Archbishop Johannes Maria Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta led a concelebrated mass with Jesuit Provincial Father Robertus Bellarminus Riyo Mursanto and Jesuit Father Johannes de Brito Mardikartono, director of pastoral care in Yogyakarta in the chapel of Major Seminary of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Condongcatur village.
Archbishop Pujasumarta said in his homily that his pastoral staff depicts two images symbolizing the hard and flexible parts of his ministry.
“It means we should remember these two parts when we carry out our pastoral work: being strong in principles and being soft in doing the mission. We should also pay attention to the sense of local cultures,” he said.
He added that the staff also depicts a pelican sacrificing itself for its children.
“This story of the pelican refers to the seeds of God’s Word, which symbolizes Jesus Christ sacrificing himself for his followers. Thus, the clergy should be brave to sacrifice themselves for its people.”
The prelate invited pastoral workers to go deeply into all matters related to their work during the program.
“At this depth, we will get fish. So cast your line into the deep and find a better pastoral way to make your service more useful.”
He added that any meaningful pastoral care has God as its source.
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