By Robin Gomes
Catholics throughout Indonesia are intensifying prayer for our common home, the earth, during the Marian month of May, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, President of the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia (KWI), kicked off the month of Mary on Friday with a concelebrated Mass. It was, live-streamed on YouTube from the Cathedral of the Assumption in Jakarta.
Ahead of the Mass, the Rosary, highlighting Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato si’”, was prayed with the carrying the statue of Our Lady of All Ethnicities in procession.
In the Encyclical, dated May 24, 2015, the Pope called for swift action on climate change, among other issues. The Mass on May 1 both introduces the month of May and looks forward to “Laudato si’ Week” which runs from 16-24 May.
“We highlight the Pope’s Encyclical for the Rosary prayer as we want to welcome “Laudato si’ Week”, Father Matius Harry Sulistyo, Chairman of Jakarta Archdiocese’s Commission for Social Communications, told UCA News.
“Laudato si’ Week” commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Pope’s Encyclical. Sponsored by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The week is meant to encourage Catholic communities to take bolder actions for creation during the week-long initiative.
The theme of the week is “everything is connected”.
Pope Francis released a video message in March for the "Laudato si’ Week" initiative, inviting everyone to respond to the ecological crisis. He said that the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor can no longer wait.
Father Sulistyo said that during the Marian month, all the bishops will take turns to lead the Rosary prayer every evening. He said the Rosary is a powerful prayer against the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the start of May, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Indonesia stood at 10,551 with 800 deaths. (Source: UCANEWS)