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One dead at First Communion party in Indonesia

Catholic majority Flores Island is known for extravagant thanksgiving parties accompanied by alcoholic beverages
In this screenshot from a video, guests mourn the death of Aloysius Ali who died at a First Communion thanksgiving party on Flores Island on Sept. 13

In this screenshot from a video, guests mourn the death of Aloysius Ali who died at a First Communion thanksgiving party on Flores Island on Sept. 13. (Photo: Supplied)

Published: September 14, 2023 12:16 PM GMT
Updated: September 15, 2023 03:42 AM GMT

A 68-year-old Catholic man died of stab wounds on Sept. 13 during a thanksgiving party held after a First Communion ceremony on Indonesia’s Catholic-majority island of Flores. 

Aloysius Ali died soon after he sustained injuries in a brawl at the evening party in Ruteng diocese in East Manggarai Regency on Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara province. 

Such parties are held defying the local Church’s call to end lavish parties after First Communion ceremonies.

East Manggarai Regency police chief I Ketut Widiarta said Ali died after he sustained a deep wound on his left hand which was almost severed by the stabbing.

"His life could not be saved though he was taken to the nearby community health center," Widiarta said.

Three others, Eginasius Letor Sabon, Pius Ral and Fidelis Arol Arno, suffered serious injuries. Sabon and others are recuperating in hospitals, Widiarta said.

Chaos ensued after guests at the party got intoxicated by drinking the popular sopi made from distilled liquid tapped from sugar palms.

In a video, seen by UCA News,  the guests were screaming hysterically after Ali's death, which further turned the party tense.

"We have appealed to people to maintain peace," Widiarta stated.

Residents in East Nusa Tenggara have a habit of holding parties after First Communion ceremonies.

Parties, accompanied by dancing and drinking alcoholic beverages, often require police protection due to untoward incidents in the past.

In 2017, at a First Communion party in Belu Regency, Timor Island, a 24-year-old man was knifed by two people.

Father Simon Nama, vicar of Borong parish in Ruteng diocese, told UCA News that the Church has appealed to people not to hold excessive parties.

"We have banned these extravagant parties," Father Nama said.

Several parishes have implemented the ban by holding parties within the premises of the church.

 “However, even in places where there is a ban, people still do it," Nama observed.

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