CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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A colourful Indonesian Christmas

HONG KONG (SE): The Indonesian Catholic Community in Hong Kong celebrated Christmas with colour and song at Christ the King Chapel in Causeway Bay at a Mass on the afternoon of December 25, led by Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, and a morning worship service that featured well-known pop singer, Agustinus Gusti Nugroho, buoying spirits and setting the scene for a joyful day.

Nugroho led community singing and entertained with a few lighter numbers, as well as sharing his story of growing up in a traditional Catholic family, then straying from the Church during his younger days, before coming to appreciate the richness that the faith now brings to his life.

Three people received the sacrament of baptism during the afternoon Mass and seven were confirmed by Bishop Yeung.

The Indonesian chaplain, Father Heribertus Hadiarto, Father Reginaldus Amleni and Father Nicolas de Francqueville joined the bishop in concelebrating at the Christmas Mass.

Bishop Yeung said that Jesus was born into a simple and poor family, in the same way many of us are, so as to remind us that we are loved by a God who understands the burdens we carry and our weaknesses.

He encouraged people to have faith in God, as his example has shown us that he will give up anything, including his own son, to save us.

He invited all present to listen to and follow the teaching of Christ, rather than pursuing the fleeting pleasures of material gain.

He also encouraged people to share their experiences with Jesus, in the same way as the shepherds in the gospel, who proclaimed the good news about the birth of Jesus to the whole neighbourhood.

Over 500 people, including the Indonesian consul general, Chalief Akbar, and other diplomatic staff attended the Mass and shared in the spirit of the Christmas season.

Traditional Indonesian food was served at a simple celebration and Father Hadiarto did the honours in cutting the nasi tumpeng (rice cone).

Cultural performances featuring traditional musical instruments, such as the angklung, a type of hand-held xylophone made from bamboo tubes tuned to different octaves, which is struck with the hand and can be played by more than one person, were presented on stage.


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