I think I will be attending a Catholic church whenever I am in Jakarta for holiday. You know, every year I’ll probably be in Jakarta for four weeks, at most. And I have noticed how weird it is when we, as a family, go to church separately every Sunday. I’ll walk to a nearby GKI church, while my father, my mother, and my sister will worship in a Catholic church.
So this morning I followed them to the Church of Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven), of the parish of Pantai Indah Kapuk (a residential area which I still detest for occupying a mangrove area). From the location, I guess you could more or less imagine the socio-economic background of the church. It is in a stark contrast with the Church of Trinitas, of the parish of Cengkareng. In Trinitas, the parishioners are more diverse in terms of race and economic class. You could find literally all sorts of people there (hence, it is more similar to the GKI church I mentioned before).
On the other hand, in Regina Caeli, it is likely that 90% of the parishioners are Chinese, and most of them live in the surrounding areas: PIK, Muara Karang, and Pluit. That is, they are well-off. It is shown in the architecture of the church (which is marvellous, by the way), and the parking lot resembles what you would usually find in a shopping mall. Very neat and well-organized, maintained by a professional security system. It would be really interesting to see how the whole archdiocese negotiates these socio-economic differences among its members.
(I found it fascinating that one of the prayer points today is to pray specifically for the non-indigenous people residing in the land. And that they will hold a Chinese New Year mass. I’m fine for this, provided that you will do it for other new years too, e.g., Javanese New Year.)
1. One of the few things that the Catholic priests could benefit by having an ecumenical dialogue with the Protestants is to learn how to deliver a homily better. I am still bored to the limbo whenever I listen to a Catholic homily. Or that I am simply a hard-core Protestant who could not appreciate the style of Catholic preaching.
2. My family washed their hands before they received the host. I guess it is consistent with what they believe regarding the sacred nature of the host.
3. OK, now I’m going to read a pamphlet on the Tridentine/Latin rite which lies on my father’s desk.