Santo Fransiscus Xavierus: Tuban
One of my many travel passions is visiting and photographing places of worship. They consist of churches, temples or mosques, in fact, any place where indigenous people worship a higher being. I have always felt comfortable in any of these places and, in fact, I have had many people say to me in the past just how could I do that. Just to digress, when I first started travelling through the archipelago decades ago I adopted a philosophy of respecting all religions and even coined a phrase for this – Semaga – an ancronym formed from two words in Bahasa Indonesia; semua agama meaning ‘all religions’. Using this philosophy I have constantly felt at ease in whatever place of worship I visit. So when I visited the Catholic church (gereja) of Santo Fransiscus Xavierus in Tuban I knew exactly how to act. This church is a must-see for its sheer silent beauty even if your religion is not Catholic.
Previous to the current church there was a smaller one patronised by he Catholics in the area and beyond. However, the new church after construction was consecrated and blessed on the 1st May in 2006 and is a worthy, peaceful place of worship. The sheer simplicity of the interior lends itself to one of silent prayer and meditation. Sitting at one of the wooden pews I was in awe at the stunning yet simple altar emitting its own natural light and cascading onto the floor. As most of you know I am a Bhuddist but I did feel a sense of surreal peace as I sat listening to the silence, if that makes any sense. As far as I could ascertain the church is open most hours and days. If you are unsure about entering then ask the security guard at the entrance. He was quite amiable and even escorted us inside. Do leave a donation or if you have an interest, light a candle.