Young people from Denpasar Diocese in Bali in traditional attire carry a bamboo cross. They participated in a parade in Manado on Oct. 4 as part of Indonesia Youth Day. (Photo by W. Edward)
Olly Dondokambey, governor of North Sulawesi province in Indonesia, told thousands of Catholic youth to use Indonesian Youth Day as an opportunity to deepen their faith.
He addressed a crowd gathered in Kalabat football stadium as part of Indonesian Youth Day (IYD) activities Oct. 1-6 in Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi. He said it was an opportunity to "bring Christ to youths and bring youths to Christ."
It is in accordance with the word of God, that "the Gospel must be conveyed to everyone, including the youth," Dondokambey said.
IYD is an opportunity to unite young people from every diocese and community to exchange thoughts, ideas, information and experience in an atmosphere of solidarity, the governor said.
It is important "for the construction of the church, community and nation."
This year’s IYD event was being attended by about 2,500 young Catholics from 37 dioceses across the country as well as guest participants from Malaysia’s Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese.
IYD’s official opening Mass was attended by 22 bishops, including Indonesian nuncio Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi and Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta, Chairman of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference.
Archbishop Suharyo, who preached at the opening Mass, invited young Catholics to reconcile with God, others, themselves and the universe.
"True peace would be acceptable if people want to share what they have as Jesus did," he said.
Archbishop Suharyo told young Catholics to participate in tackling social problems as the way of following Jesus Christ.
Victor Ohoiwutun, a young Catholic from Agats-Asmat Diocese in Papua province said he found the event inspiring.
"IYD is a chance for us to fill ourselves with new experiences, new inspirations from other youths," he said.
He admitted that young Catholics in his diocese have limited activities to address the social problems they face. "When we come back, we will formulate ideas from this IYD event into concrete actions," he said.