Become Catholics in Indonesia is a challenge. Yulianus Suroso: "At first many catechumens are isolated from their families because of their choice." The happiness of the new Christians at the end of a long journey. Yohana Rista Sijabat: "Since I have been baptized are overjoyed. It's a dream come true."
Palembang (AsiaNews) - The community of the parish of the Sacred Heart in Palembang, South Sumatra has 48 new Christians. On April 15, during Holy Saturday celebrations, 48 people were baptized during the morning mass. Five others were baptized during the Easter Vigil, while two catechumens have become Christians during Sunday service in the parish of St. Pius X in Tanggamus, Lampung.
Adult baptisms take place regularly every year, in most of the parishes of the diocese of Lampung and Palembang. Most of them are celebrated outside of Holy Week and Easter Sunday. The catechumens consider baptism as something very significant to their lives, since they face different challenges to become Catholics in Indonesia, a country with a Muslim majority.
Yohana Rista Sijabat (32) one of the newly baptized told AsiaNews: “I am overwhelmed with joy when I was baptized. It is my dream, when I together with the rest of my family, I can attend the Mass and go to the Church. My husband and his family have inspired me to be in touch with the Church. Their example of living daily life and faith in God has helped me to embrace this Christianity”.
Yulianus Suroso, catechist in the parish of the Sacred Heart, told AsiaNews that the catechumens preparing for baptism with different activities that allow them to learn and develop familiarity with the Catholic faith. They face a path that first leads them to learn the foundations of doctrine and thus the prayers, then involve them in community life. Happiness in becoming Christians is their reward for the arduous journey.
"At first many catechumens are isolated from their families because of their decision to become Christians. Despite all, time heals wounds and brings them together into a family of different denominations, "says Suroso.
"I feel satisfied. Now I hope to live a better life with Jesus. I wish that the Church, through the priest and the parish community, guide my faith and I can now become a good Catholic. - says Yohana Sijabat - I cannot wait to start my new life in faith, and I hope that the Church will continue to embrace and take care of my faith. "
Some received the sacrament during Easter Vigil in the cathedral. Others were baptised at Easter Mass. The catechumens also received first communion and confirmation. More than 200 baptisms took place in Karamunsing; 244 in Ranau.
Indonesians come into contact with the Church in schools and the workplace. Many catechumens are converted by the testimonies of priests and religious.
The Songkran festival provides Thais a great opportunity to return to their home town and spend time with family. Thai Catholics are engaged in the celebrations as well. Good Friday falls on the first day of Thai New Year. "Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is an exhortation for us to do the same and serve others," said Fr Kriengyot Piyawanno.