After moving to Orlando from Indonesia two years ago, Putu Liedyawati found herself missing her native country. So, when the opportunity arose to participate in the celebration of Mass in Indonesian, Liedyawati was eager to attend. She soon found a small, but faithful community of Indonesian Catholics who together have formed Komunitas Katolik Indonesia, or KKI.
“We share the language, food, culture,” said Liedyawati, a parishioner of Holy Cross Parish in Orlando who is currently leading the community. “Our children perform traditional dances and songs. It is wonderful for when you are homesick.”
Liedyawati explained that local Indonesian Catholics will often gather together after Sunday Mass for a meal and fellowship, but they really miss the ability to hear Mass celebrated in their own language. That is why every two months they invite a priest from out of state to celebrate a Mass in Indonesian at different locations throughout Central Florida. On October 14, Holy Redeemer hosted the Indonesian Mass for the first time in their Marian Chapel.
Rima Kamal, a parishioner at Holy Redeemer, helped to organize the Mass and opened up her home afterwards for a potluck meal with the community. Like so many others, she appreciated the ability to hear the Word of God in her own language.
“The most meaningful part was the priest’s attention to the Sacrament of Marriage,” said Kamal. “The Mass will be offered regularly in the future since we had a lot of local support from the local community.”
Thirty people participated the Mass and came from all across Central Florida, some driving very long distances to be there. Liedyawati said at these gatherings, strangers quickly become friends, bonding over a shared faith, experiences, and culture.
“It really brings people together,” said Liedyawati. “Last year we only had ten people, but now there were thirty. People who don’t know anyone will come to hear their language again. Everyone is welcome. We enjoy the opportunity to share our culture with the English-speaking community as well.”
There are plans for another Indonesian Mass in January 2019, date and location to be announced. Click here to find parishes throughout the Diocese of Orlando that offer Mass in other languages.