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Ganjuran Church that was built in 1927 is not just a place to
contemplate, but it also offers an opportunity to see the global Jesus
in local appearance, wearing the Javanese clothes named surjan while
listening to gamelan.
Ganjuran Jesus Sacred Heart Church, as its complete name, which is
located around 20 kilometers from Yogyakarta can be reached by
motorcycle or car. The scenery of the green rice field and pine trees
will welcome you upon entering the Ganjuran village where this church is
located. Visiting this church, you will know the history of the church,
enculturation of Catholic people with local community and finally you
will get peacefulness.
The complex of Ganjuran church was built in 1924 with the initiative
of two Dutch relatives, namely Joseph Smutzer and Julius Smutzer. This
church is one of the buildings built by the two relatives since they
managed Gondang Lipura Sugar Factory in the area in 1912. Other
buildings they constructed were 12 schools and one clinic as the embryo
of Panti Rapih Hospital.
This church that was designed by a Dutch architect J Yh van Oyen is
one form of church social spirit (Rerum Navarum) that the two Dutch
relatives had, namely the spirit to love others, especially the
surrounding community most of them were workers in Gondang Lipuro Sugar
Factory who reached its golden time in 1918 – 1930.
In its development, the church complex was completed with the
construction of a temple named Jesus Sacred Heart Temple in 1927. The
temple with the terrace decorated with lotus flower and the statue of
Jesus in Javanese clothes becomes another choice to celebrate holy mass
and pilgrimage, in addition to the church offering closeness with
Walking around the church, you will realize that this building was
designed by integrating European, Hindu, and Javanese styles. European
style is seen from the shape of the building forming a cross from above
view, while Javanese style is seen from the roof forming tajug that is
supported by four teakwood pillars, symbolizing four Gospel writers,
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Javanese nuance is seen at the alter, sancristi (where instruments
for mass celebration are kept), doopvont (water containter for
baptizing) and chatevummenen (the place of the teacher of Catholic
religion). The statues of Jesus and Mary who is carrying Her son are
depicted in Javanese clothes. The reliefs at every stop of the
Sacrification Path Jesus is described as having hairs of Hindu monks.
You can take holy water from the left side of the temple. After
taking water, you can sit cross-legged in front of the temple and say
the prayer. The procession of the celebration is ended by entering the
temple and say your prayer in front of Christ statue. Some pilgrims take
the water and put it in a bottle then take it home after they pray for
If you want to take part in holy mass celebration done in Javanese
language with songs accompanied by gamelan, you can come to this church
on Thursdays to Sundays at 05:30 a.m., every night of first Friday, each
Christmas and on Saturdays at 05:00 p.m. The holy mass is done at the
yard of the temple, except daily mass at 05:30 a.m. that is done in the
After completing the celebration or pilgrimage, take your time to
talk with local people in order to know the history of Ganjuran village
where the church is located. In Javanese old history, Ganjuran was part
of Alas Mentaok territory named Lipuro. The place was used by Senopati
to meditate and was planned to become the center of Mataram kingdom.
The change of the name to Ganjuran itself was related to love story
of Ki Ageng Mangir and Rara Pembayun who was exiled by Mataram. The love
story of the two person later inspired the creation of the Javanese
song: Kala Ganjur, which means human basic binding line in living life
together based on love. It was from the name of the song that the name
Lipuro of the village changed to Ganjuran.
If you spend time talking with local people, there are many other
stories to explore, such as the cancellation of Lipuro to become the
center of Mataram Kingdom, the reason for exiling Ki Ageng Mangir and
Roro Pembayun and so on.