SPECIAL REPORT: Yusliana finds assurance in Church, faith, during uncertain times

28 May 2020

By Theresia Titus

Yusliana (far right) with two other baptism candidates and Lucia Dharma, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Coordinator for the Indonesian Catholic Community Perth. Photo: Supplied.

By Theresia Titus

With baptisms and other sacraments postponed across the Archdiocese, Indonesian Catholic Community Perth (ICCP) member Yusliana has not felt discouraged

Instead, she worked all the more to re-affirm her decision to become a Catholic.

The coronavirus-led restrictions – which have recently been eased last week – have resulted in Churches closure for two months from 18 March to 18 May.

“I was a Buddhist and my husband is Catholic, so my husband’s family hoped that I would become Catholic as well,” Yusliana said.

Having now lived in Perth for the past two years, Yusliana began learning more about the Catholic faith in July 2019 with ICCP at Myaree Parish, Paster Noster Catholic Church.

“I was learning about what means to be baptised and enter the Catholic Church and found out that my husband’s landlord, Ignatius Budiharsa, is actively serving at ICCP,” she said.

“Mr Budiharsa then helped me to register for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) classes conducted at ICCP.

“I was able to start the classes in July last year and have been attending every Sunday afternoon before the community’s Sunday Mass,” she added.

ICCP baptism candidates from left to right: David Lee, Budi and Yusliana, pictured with RCIA Coordinator Lucia Dharma. Photo: Supplied.

After almost a year of formation, Yusliana feels her knowledge about the Church and her faith has grown significantly.

“I grew up studying at a Christian school before moving to a Catholic high school in Indonesia and so I have some basic understanding of the Church and what it means to be Catholic,” she said.

“The RCIA classes I have been attending have deepened the knowledge I already had from the education I received back home.”

For Yusliana, it is the structure of the Catholic Church that interests her the most.

“I am in awe with the rich history of the Church and the fact that there is one structure followed all over the world, with the same Mass readings every week,” she said.

“I also admire how love and charity is the foundation of Catholic teaching, and how universal and open the Church is to believers from other religions, which, I believe, has made them feel appreciated.”

Believing it was her fate to become a Catholic, Yusliana hoped her newfound faith would strengthen and inspire her to grow, with the support of the teachings of the Church and scripture.

“I feel that my faith journey has been smooth sailing despite the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus,” she said.

“I believe that my life has become more meaningful as I receive more guidance from the Lord.”

Mrs Yusliana hopes to be to baptised in June this year.