Retired Bishop Fransiskus Xaverius Rocharjanta Prajasuta of Banjarmasin, 84, a composer whose songs were incorporated into the liturgy in Indonesia, died July 28 from kidney failure. The bishop died in Catholic-run Panti Rapih Hospital in Yogyakarta while undergoing dialysis treatment, said Father Yohanes Rasul Edy Purwanto, executive secretary of the Indonesian bishops' conference. A funeral Mass will be celebrated July 30 followed by burial outside the Nazareth convent in Kaliurang, about 25 kilometers north of Yogyakarta. Bishop Prajasuta, was born Nov 3, 1931, in Central Java. He was ordained a priest for the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Family on Dec 19, 1959. In 1983, he was appointed as bishop of Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan, where he served until his retirement in 2008. Dionisius Agus Puguh Santoso, a layman from Mother Mary Parish in Banjarbaru, said the bishop was popular among local Catholics because of his songs. “On several occasions, he often invited Catholics to sing the songs that he composed. We used to sing a song titled New Heart. Almost all parishes sang the song during Mass, especially after the distribution of the Communion,” he told ucanews.com. Santoso also recalled accompanying the bishop on a 2008 visit to a remote mission station. “We visited St Joseph Mission Station, where we met with migrant Catholics from Flores Island (in East Nusa Tenggara province),” he said. “He was friendly. I do feel the loss,” Santoso said.
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