Visiting a Missionary Cemetery, Students Learn Catholic Church History in Papua – Papuan Catholics commemorated World Spirits Day on November 2, 2022. At the celebration of World Spirits Day, dozens of Catholic students from various universities in Jayapura City and student dormitories attended to study the history of the Catholic church, Catholic missionaries, and introduced local Catholic figures, and teachers, catechesis in various regions in Papua.

“This activity started with a mass in the Chapel of Santa Clara, then participants were led to the graves of missionaries and local church leaders from various congregations who were buried in a special missionary cemetery, which is located next to the Santa Clara Franciscan monastery in Sentani,” said Papuan Catholic Youth activist. , Soleman Itlay, as the initiator of the visit to the Sentani Monastery Tomb to, Friday (4/11/2022).

Itlay said that as a Catholic Papuan, it was obligatory to know the local missionaries and evangelists scattered in Papua, so that Catholics can reconcile.

“After holding seminars in 2021, today is the way how the young Papuan generation learns about the history of the Catholic church, missionaries recognize local figures, from each region where Catholic bases are, it is mandatory for the younger generation to know Papua is the backbone of the church,” he said.

Itlay also said it was important to learn about the history of the church because since the church entered the Land of Papua, the Papuan people have experienced enormous changes in their lives.

“Therefore, the younger generation of Papua must know the history of clans, villages, churches, including Catholic missionaries who proclaim the gospel to the Papuan people,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Catholic female figure, Frederika Korain, said that the greatest and most influential civilization for the Papuans was when the missionaries brought the gospel message to the Land of Papua.

“When the missionaries came in and the Papuans came into contact with them, of course, the process was not easy and there were lessons to be learned,” he said.

Korain said the future of the Catholic church is in the hands of the young generation of Papua today. So they are obliged to study the history of the spread of the Catholic church.

“This activity is very important for Catholic youths to find out who the missionaries are, the local figures who accept the Bible, the catacist teachers who enter Papua,” he said.

Korain continued, through forums like this one can reveal things that hinder the progress of Catholics.

“We can know and can take steps of reconciliation,” he said.

“Reconciliation is necessary if certain tribes commit murder violations against missionaries, local leaders or health workers so that reconciliation can be made and pray for recovery in certain tribes. Even then, if there is, if there is no violation, thank God,” he concluded.

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