Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Indonesian Catholic Church is celebrating the ordination of ten new priests in the dioceses of Semarang (Java) and Nias (North Sumatra). Two were ordained last week and will serve as diocesan priests in Semarang. Two young seminarians, missionaries of the Holy Family, were ordained on Tuesday. Four young Jesuit deacons are set to be ordained today. Mgr Ludovicus Simanulang recently ordained two Capuchins in Nias, one of areas most affected by the 2005 tsunami.
In a message to AsiaNews, Mgr Johannes Pujasumarta, archbishop of Semarang, said he was moved by the gift of these young men to the Church. "Each priestly ordination is not only a blessing for the parishes, dioceses and religious order, but for all Catholics," he explained.
The prelate said he hoped that the presence of the new clergymen would provide an experience of faith and hope for all Catholics in order to bear new fruits for the Archdiocese of Semarang and the entire Indonesian Church.
In a country of 232 million people, Christians represent 11.8 per cent, 6 million Catholics.
Despite attacks and persecution by extremist Muslim groups, the Indonesian Church is very much active with some 3,000 priests in 36 dioceses.