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Indonesian Catholics fete Rosary month

Robertus Sutriyono, Purworejo

Robertus Sutriyono, Purworejo

Updated: October 18, 2010 09:02 AM GMT
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Bishop Julianus Sunarka and local Catholics gather at the new shrine
Bishop Julianus Sunarka and local Catholics gather at the new shrine
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Indonesia’s Catholics are observing the month of the Rosary this October through celebrations honoring the Blessed Mother. A bishop recently inaugurated a Marian shrine in Central Java and Catholics in Flores are commemorating 500 years of a Marian devotion. Jesuit Bishop Julianus Sunarka of Purwokerto blessed the Panti Samadi Maria Kendi Kencana shrine during a Mass in a chapel in Ketangi village, Purworejo, Central Java. The shrine, consisting of a rock Marian statue and a pot of flowing water, was built on the chapel’s 1,300 square meter land donated by the late Titus Toenggoldihardj, brother of Jesuit Father Bernardinus Soemarmo who was the village’s first priest. “The shrine symbolizes Mother Mary who brings the Water of Life, Jesus,” said Sacred Heart Father Robertus Widi Hargono of St. Stephen Church. In the predominantly Catholic island of Flores, eastern Indonesia, Catholics are marking  500 years of Marian devotion. Special Masses are being held to honor Tuan Ma, the local name for the Blessed Mother. Catholics here trace their devotion to a statue of the Blessed Virgin brought to the island five centuries ago. “This celebration is a special one for all of us Mother Mary’s children,” said Bishop Gerulfus Kherubim Pareira. He expressed the hope that the Marian celebrations during the month of the rosary may "open up our hearts... in the journey of faith." According to the prelate, Tuan Ma’s presence in the island has become the brightest gift of faith which has developed the local Church. The Catholic Church traditionally celebrates October as the Month of the Rosary. Related report Marian shrine opens with puppet show IJ11532.1623

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