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Indonesian Catholic weekly celebrates 70 years

Tuesday 26 January 2016, by SIGNIS

Jakarta, Brussels, January 26th, 2016 (SIGNIS/Ucan). Hidup, an Indonesian Catholic weekly celebrates this January its 70th anniversary. Hidup, which literally means "life," is published by the Jakarta Archdiocese.

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Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo and board members from the Hidup Foundation during the magazine’s 70th anniversary celebration on Jan 5.

The weekly provides comprehensive information about the development of the Catholic Church, both at national and world levels and includes many articles, such as features about the lives of saints, faith testimony of lay and religious people, faith consultation and profiles of influential and inspiring Catholics.

Over the decades, the magazine has not only inspired lay people, but priests and nuns as well.

Initially called Kerkelijk Weekblad, the Jesuits first published the magazine in 1940. It was printed initially in Dutch before becoming bilingual. After several name changes, the magazine became Hidup Katolik in 1957 and from there on it was printed only in Indonesian.

On its 70th anniversary on Jan. 5, the weekly was honored for being Indonesia’s first and oldest Catholic magazine.

Margana, Hidup’s chief editor, said that since its inception, the magazine has aimed to provide greater knowledge on Catholicism to help readers deepen their faith. "With such a vision, the rubrics are presented in such a way that Catholicism is felt in the magazine," Margana said.

The 1980s was the magazine’s golden period when it had a weekly circulation of 35,000 copies. Now with the arrival of the digital age, its circulation is currently 13,000-15,000 copies per edition. The weekly has over 9,000 subscribers throughout Indonesia and some aboard.

According to Margana, who was appointed chief editor in 2010, the publication has undergone major changes over the past few years, particularly in appearance. Since mid-2011 readers have been able to access a digital version through Hidupkatolik.com.

Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta, chairman of the Indonesian bishops’ conference, said Hidup has influenced thousands of Indonesian Catholics through their journey of faith.

The archbishop believes the magazine’s longevity is the work of the Holy Spirit and that it continues to exist because it has the mission to promote the faith. "My hope is that Hidup magazine will be loved by more and more Catholics, as a source of inspiration for their faith," he said.

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