The Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Thanksgiving Mass has returned to welcome the 2023/2024 academic year.
Like previous years, this Thanksgiving Mass is an opportunity for Catholic students at UGM to express gratitude for becoming part of the academic community and seek God’s guidance for the upcoming semester.
The 2023 Thanksgiving Mass, held at the Grha Sabha Pramana on Thursday (August 31), was attended by around 800 attendees and broadcast live through the YouTube channel of St. Antonius Padua Kotabaru Church, with 140 online participants.
The mass was presided over by the Archbishop of Semarang, Mgr. Robertus Rubiyatmoko Pr., and was accompanied by nine concelebrating priests, including representatives from various dioceses and parishes.
Thanksgiving Mass is an annual spiritual activity. It was first held in 2019, and in the following years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 Thanksgiving Masses were conducted online.
The events leading up to the Thanksgiving Mass began with a reception attended by the Bishop and UGM leadership, followed by a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Semarang.
It was followed by a reception with Catholic Student Families from various faculties at UGM.
This year’s Thanksgiving Mass was made vibrant with the participation of the UGM Student Choir, dance performances, and orchestral presentations by the university’s Catholic students.
Vice-Rector for Student Affairs, Community Service, and Alumni Dr. Arie Sujito expressed appreciation for the successful organization of the 2023 Thanksgiving Mass.
He emphasized that spiritual activities are essential to the learning process and contribute to ensuring a smooth start to the 2023/2024 academic year.
He pointed out that the presence of religious activity units on campus is crucial for students to develop sensitivity to the diversity in the campus environment.
UGM is committed to providing facilities for religious worship to facilitate students’ learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. Students are also taught tolerance and solidarity as part of the learning process.
“UGM provides a central worship facility for all religions, which will be officially inaugurated in mid-December 2023. This facility demonstrates genuine practices of harmony and tolerance,” he said on August 31.
“It is believed to be essential in supporting the learning process of building intellectual individuals with a strong sense of solidarity.”
This year’s Thanksgiving Mass adopted the theme “Rooting, Growing, and Bearing Fruit in Christ,” which aligns with the parable in the Gospel reading (Matthew 13:1–23), the sower and seeds parable.
During his homily, Archbishop Mgr. Robertus Rubiyatmoko Pr. conveyed, “Faith is like a seed planted in us that needs to be guarded and nurtured from various disturbances or negative factors that can hinder faith growth.”
“As we come to know Christ more, we will love Him more, and our faith will become more steadfast. Therefore, as believers, we are expected to continually seek opportunities to develop the seed of faith through prayer, participation in religious activities, and reading the Bible,” he emphasized.
Author: Agung Nugroho