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Gearing up for the Asian Games in Indonesia

JAKARTA (UCAN): Priest and laypeople in the archdioceses of Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia, are gearing up to help athletes and officials during the upcoming Asian Games, the second time the country has hosted the sporting event. The last time was in 1962.
More than 11,000 athletes from at least 45 countries will participate in the event to be held in Jakarta and Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra, from August 18 to September 2.
“We are preparing some priests, particularly those who can speak foreign languages, to offer Mass for Catholic athletes,” Archbishop Aloysius Sudarso of Palembang, said on August 14.
He said local authorities have made places of worship available, including a Catholic church close to the athlete’s village in Palembang.
Several doctors from Catholic hospitals in the province will also be on hand to serve the athletes.
“They are specialists who will join medical teams prepared for the competition,” the archbishop said.
Dozens of Catholic laity have volunteered to help organise events, including a parishioner from St. Francis de Sales Church in Palembang, who is a member of the organising team for the bowling event, one of 40 sports in the competition.
Archbishop earlier issued a letter calling on local Catholics to support the competition.
“Let’s make it a multi-cultural and multi-religious event,” he said. “We hope it will carry a message of unity.”
In July the Archdiocese of Jakarta issued a similar letter calling on parishes to show solidarity by putting message of supports on banners in church compounds and also on social media.
Father Antonius Suyadi, chairpersion of the archdiocese’s commission for ecumenical and interreligious affairs, said the Asian Games committee asked the archdiocese to participate in the torch relay, which was run on August 16.

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