INDONESIA – The blessing and inauguration of the new house for aspirancy in Indonesia was held on April 30, 2019 as the Indonesian Province celebrated the Feast of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort. This date was chosen since April 28 was on a Sunday and according to Indonesian Liturgical Calendar, we may have a special liturgical celebration on another day. We also adjusted the date due to the availability of the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese.
It has been a prayer and wish of the Indonesian Province to have its own house for aspirancy for the past few years and we are so grateful to God for making this finally into reality. This is truly a precious gift for the province, most especially for the aspirancy community in Labuan Bajo who had been renting a house for five years now in three different places.
A day before the Eucharistic Celebration, a traditional ceremony of 'Adak wee Mbaru' was led by by a local manggaraian tribes’ leader. The ceremony is rich in symbols of expressing gratitude to God and to Mother Nature, invoking prayers for prosperity, safety and peace for the residents of the new house.
On the next day, a Holy Mass was presided by the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Ruteng, Mgr. Silvester San. Before the mass, the bishop led the cutting of ribbon and it was followed by the signing of the memorial stone by the bishop, together with the provincial superior and the head of the region.
In his homily, Bishop Silvester emphasized that the church will always need missionaries and their presence is very essential to the church. He also reminded us the essence of being Christians as missionaries of God. The bishop thanked and congratulated as well the SMM community for being in this strategic and specific region, considered as a new tourist destination. He also urged the community to be a living witness of God's love and extend pastoral care to the faithful around. A simple banquet was served after the mass along with some cultural presentations and community dance.
From the SMM Province of Indonesia, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Generalate team who supported this project from the very beginning. In a special way, we also thank the Province of Netherlands, the Vice-Province of United States, and the General Delegations of Great Britain & Ireland and Germany for their generosity in supporting this project. Our huge thanks also go to many local benefactors here in Indonesia who continue to stand by our side until the end of this construction work. We hope and pray that more Montfortian Missionaries will spring up from this lovely place and that this community will become a blessing to the local church as well.
Fr. Antonius Tensi, SMM