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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Asian Youth Day kicks off in Indonesia with days in diocese

More than 2,000 young people from 21 Asian countries arrived in Indonesia to celebrate Asian Youth Day, which kicked off with the preliminary three-day live-in program beginning on 30th July.

Modelled on World Youth Day’s Days in the Dioceses, the live-in program allows young participants to stay with local Catholic families in 11 archdioceses and dioceses ahead of the main festivities from 2nd to 6th August, reported ucanews.com.

“We gather here because we believe in Jesus Christ. We are joyful to bring his teachings to a multicultural group of people,” Bishop Paskalis Syukur of Bogor said in his homily during Mass at the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in Bogor. “We celebrate our diversity in Christ who unites us.”

He called on participants to become witnesses in striving for social justice and peace as well as in preserving nature.

Franciscan Fr Jemianus Hendrik Rance Tnomat, youth moderator at St Paschal Parish in Jakarta, told ucanews.com that the young people were sent to live “with Catholic families who face problems, such as difficulty in holding Rosary prayers in neighbourhood communities because of opposition by local (Muslims).”

Picture: Young Japanese women take a selfie in Tokyo. Catholic Asian Youth Day is set for 2nd to 6th August in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (CNS photo/Kiyoshi Ota, EPA).