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Focolare inks presence in Indonesia

The Focolare International Group recently made its mark in Indonesia by promoting dialogue as a way of life and fostering true fraternal brotherhood.

“Fraternal brotherhood is actual and real in Indonesia, but mostly among different religious communal societies in Panongan Sub District in Tangerang Regency of Banten Province,” said Father Felix Supranto SS.CC, the initiator of Focolare’s outreach program.

This sentiment was echoed by Indonesian Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo and Focolare International’s President, Dr. Margaret Karram, during their visit to Jakarta, Indonesia.

Cardinal Suharyo, Dr. Karram, and Focolare Vice President Fr. Jesus Moran from Focolare International visited MTs Al Bisriyyin, a local female boarding school, and the Food Resilience Group in Pamonang on May 17. 

They had the opportunity to meet with Focolare enthusiasts in Yogyakarta and celebrated a Holy Eucharist at Ganjuran’s Sacred Heart Parish Church on May 21. They also engaged in discussions with local Muslim leaders at Yogyakarta’s Islamic State University Sunan Kalijaga.

On May 20, an international seminar, aimed to promote dialogue as a means to achieve communal unity in society, was held at the Catholic University of Atma Jaya in South Jakarta with 250 participants. 

Focolare International’s presence in Indonesia is relatively new to many Indonesian Catholics.

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Gennie, who hails from Myanmar, said despite the difficulties that the Burmese people are now facing because of the military junta, they came together to support one another, providing daily necessities and aid.

“Never had I ever seen and watched closely the fact of how great social solidary in our country in this very difficult situation,” said Gennie, adding that she also received many aids from friends and even unknown people she never gets in touch previously.

Lawrence Chong, a successful Singaporean businessman and devout Catholic, explained how he implemented the Focolare Movement’s instruments of dialogue to transform his company’s approach. Through dialogue and the concept of the Economy of Communion, Chong’s firm actively contributes to serving the neediest people and creating a culture of purpose and unity.

Sr. Anastasia Ratnawati OSU, an Indonesian Ursuline sister, shared her experience of fostering unity among teachers and staff at her school in Jakarta through respect, dialogue, and transparency.

Vatican Nuncio Msgr. Piero Pioppo said Focolare’s “great mission to bring unity on the ground” is “following the path of life that Jesus practiced in his life.”

Dr. Karram said, “It has been a great gift from God that Focolare could make this wonderful trip and meet the locals in Southeast Asia and Pacific Region, including Indonesia; all these magnificent stories are enriching the Focolare’s mission.”

Father Markus Solo SVD, a top official at the Vatican’s Interfaith Dicastery, said he is delighted in seeing Focolare’s journey to Indonesia to experience the genuine social harmony that exists amidst the country’s diverse population.

“And now I am really happy to learn that even Indonesian Cardinal Suharyo entertained the group’s entourage to experience this social communal harmony in unity in Tangerang Regence,” the priest said. 

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