Indonesian Archbishop Johannes Pujasumarta dies at age 65

Catholics take to social media to express grief
Indonesian Archbishop Johannes Pujasumarta dies at age 65

Archbishop Johannes Pujasumarta of Semarang leads a blessing of the Assumption of Mary statue in Ambarawa, Central Java, on Aug. 15. (Photo by Katharina R. Lestari)

Archbishop Johannes Maria Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta of Semarang died Nov. 10 from lung cancer.

The archbishop, 65, died in Semarang's St. Elizabeth Hospital, where he was admitted more than a month ago.

Not long after being hospitalized, the archbishop received the sacrament of anointing of the sick from retired Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja of Jakarta. A photo of the encounter was widely circulated on social media.

The archbishop was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2014 and underwent treatment several times after that, according to his niece, Agnes Dyah Permatasari.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Nov. 13 at St. Paul Major Seminary's chapel in Kentungan, Yogyakarta, followed by burial in the seminary's cemetery.

Archbishop Pujasumarta was born in Surakarta, Central Java, on Dec. 27, 1949. He was ordained a priest June 25, 1977; appointed bishop of Bandung on May 17, 2008, followed by ordination on July 16, 2008. He was appointed archbishop of Semarang Nov. 12, 2010, and installed on Jan. 7, 2011. He served as secretary-general of the Indonesian bishops' conference from 2012 until his death.

 

Simple person

Father Fransiskus Xaverius Sukendar Wignyosumarta, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Semarang, said the archbishop was a "simple person."

"He wholeheartedly loved and paid attention to his people," he told ucanews.com. "He didn't like protocol, he wanted to get closer to his people directly."

He said Catholics, particularly in the archdiocese, felt the loss.

"On social media, many Catholics expressed their grief. One says 'thanks for your service,' another one asks 'why did you go so fast?'"

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