Jakarta, Indonesia, 20 July 2021 -- "Loving God, we place before You the disease and pandemic that is still present in the world, especially as it has become even more so close and real to us. Send us Your Spirit of Unity and Cooperation and help us work together, respect one another and seek each others' good, as we face its challenges."
This is the essence of our prayers and aspirations as the third wave of the pandemic with its variants and deviants hit us and made Indonesia Asia's Covid-19 new epicenter overtaking India. It is also an expression of our realization finally that our actual enemy is not Covid-19 but rather egoism, self-centeredness, complacency, and indifference.
That is why the Minister of Religious Affairs initiative, Yaqut Choli Quomas, to invite the whole nation AS ONE to turn to prayer, endorsed by no less than President Joko Widodo himself, was warmly welcomed and totally supported by the people and all religious civil leaders. But even before this National Prayer Campaign was launched, the faithful of the Catholic Community, in particular, the Archdiocese of Jakarta and the Diocese of Surabaya, have already been organizing prayer rallies and online programs via social media to raise awareness, lift hope and strengthen the faith of the people.
Our St John Bosco Parish here in Sunter, Jakarta, has always been at the vanguard of providing both spiritual and material assistance to its faithful from the very outset of the pandemic. In their own little way, for some time now, the small fledgling groups of the Salesian Family here, our Salesian Cooperators, their aspirants, as well as the aspirants of the emerging ADMA, have been doing "Marathon rosaries" even before the national slogan "Pray at home: the nation knocks on the door of Paradise" was introduced. We are one with our shepherd, Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, in asking the Lord to help us make the spirit of community unity, the sense of true brotherhood and compassion towards others blossom in each one of us.
NB: The Salesian Viceprovince of Indonesia (INA) of St. Louis Versiglia (Superior Fr Andrew Wong) with 60 Salesian confreres is located mostly in the Java, the most heavy populated island and epicentre of the present pandemic surge in Indonesia.