Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta
Updated: April 27, 2021 04:05 AM GMT
Photos of Catholics Yohanes Heri and Fidelis Whilly Harsono Putra are placed before the altar of St. Joseph Church before a Mass on April 26. (Photo: Screenshot of St. Joseph Parish’s YouTube channel)
Two Catholic navy personnel on board Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala-402 when it sank have been remembered at a Mass of special intention.
Yohanes Heri and Fidelis Whilly Harsono Putra were among 53 sailors who died on the Indonesian Navy submarine that was found in pieces on the seabed north of Bali.
The Indonesian military announced it had located the 44-year-old German-built submarine 838 meters below sea level about 1.3 kilometers south of the location from which it had made its last contact five days earlier as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill
The Mass was held on the afternoon of April 26 at St. Joseph Church in Karangpilang, Surabaya city, close to their families’ homes. Local parishioners attended and it was broadcast on the parish’s YouTube channel.
“We prayed for the two Catholics as well as other victims of the incident,” Father Yohanes Rudi Anada, the parish priest, told UCA News.
He said there will be requiem Masses for the two Catholic victims at the parish’s chapels but “we are still coordinating with the families.”
I pray for the victims’ families that they be strengthened in this time of crisis
“Mr. Whilly had three little sons, and Mr. Heri — if I am not mistaken — had three children as well. Their children still need their parents’ role for their development. I pray for the victims’ families that they be strengthened in this time of crisis,” he said.
Agustinus Hendry Irawan, a parishioner, said he visited Whilly’s parents, who live close to him, prior to the Mass.
“His father seems to be strong enough but is still hoping that there will be a miracle. His mother, however, still cannot say anything. His father told me that his son was a smart navy member as he was sent abroad several times for military studies,” he told UCA News.
According to him, Whilly’s wife was taken to a hospital’s emergency unit due to severe shock. “She is now being treated at home with an ambulance on standby outside,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, chairman of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, expressed his deep condolences in a video message uploaded on Jakarta Cathedral’s YouTube channel.
“On behalf of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference and the Archdiocese of Jakarta, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the big family of the Indonesian Navy and to the families of all 53 national patriots who died in the incident of the sunken KRI Nanggala-402 submarine,” the prelate said.
“I pray for the victims’ families that they be strengthened by all prayers said by the Indonesian people … And I hope that the incident will encourage the big family of the Indonesian military to continue to rise up for the sake of the nation.”
Earlier, President Joko Widodo announced rank promotion for all victims of the tragedy and awarded them the Bintang Jalasena, a navy meritorious service star medal.
He also promised to provide scholarships to the victims’ children until they finish their undergraduate studies.