It’s Cool to be a Jesuit – St Anthonys Church, Yogyakarta, Java

It’s Cool to be a Jesuit – St Anthonys Church, Yogyakarta, Java

St Anthonys Church, YogyakartaPope Francis is a Jesuit and he’s cool. He’s the first Jesuit pope since  St Ignatius of Loyola and six other students from the University of Paris formed the Society of Jesus in 1534 nearly 500 years ago .

St Anthonys Church, YogyakartaPope Paul III allowed them to become priests in 1537 and three years later he granted them the right to become their own order.

St Anthonys Church, YogyakartaThen and now members of the Society of Jesus take three vows: poverty, chastity and obedience – and obedience to the Pope. So Pope Francis has vowed to obey himself. Isn’t that cool?

Ignatius dispatched his priests throughout Catholic Europe to set up schools, colleges and seminaries. By his death in 1556, the Jesuits had founded 74 colleges on three continents.

St Anthonys Church, YogyakartaSt. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) expanded the Church’s presence in Asia, mostly in the Portuguese Empire.  He was the first Christian missionary in Japan, Borneo and the Moluccas.

St Anthonys Church, YogyakartaThe Jesuits in Indonesia have developed a distinct identity.  In general, they are keen on high-quality education and being close to local and national elites.  There is a highly-regarded Jesuit university in Yogyakarta: Sanata Dharma University.

St Anthonys Church, YogyakartaThe numbers were expanding so Father Xaverius Strates  arranged for a new large church to be built  in the Dutch colonial style surrounded by trees.  The Church of St Anthony of Padua,  better known as St Anthonys or Kota Baru Church, was finished on 26 September 1926. It can seat at least 2,000 people. Six new priests were ordained at St Anthonys  in July 2017.

St Anthonys Church, YogyakartaSt Anthonys is firmly on the tourist list for religious sites in Yogyakarta, along with mosques, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, 9th century Borobudur, and the most beautiful Hindu temple in the world, 10th century Prambanan.

St Anthonys Church-4Biblical paintings decorate the inside walls in the local style. Behind the altar under the gaze of a religious statue sits an impressive Indonesia gamelan orchestra. Outside the area has interesting old buildings and friendly people. There’s also one of Sanata Dharma University’s campuses.

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 It’s Cool to be a Jesuit – St Anthonys Church, Yogyakarta, Java