KAPUAS HULU, WEST KALIMANTAN, Indonesia - Dear confreres, greetings of health and peace from us, Montfort Missionaries, in West Kalimantan region, Indonesia. I would like to share with you about our activities in the context of the opening of Continental Mission Year of Asia-Oceania in this region of mission.
In West Kalimantan we have five Montfortian parishes: Saint Montfort Parish, Monterado; Mary Queen of Rosary Parish, Lebang; Epiphany Parish, Siut; the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Putussibau and Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Mendalam. In this region there are as well two itinerary mission communites: Mission Community of Saint Montfort, Manyurai and Mission Community of Deo Soli, Putussibau.
All the preparation and implementation of various activities for the opening of this mission year cannot be separated from the help of so many people, including former Montfortian candidates living and working in this region.
The following are some of the activities held.
1. Welcoming Ceremony of Father Arnold, Assistant General
On Saturday afternoon, January 29, 2022, Father Arnold arrived in Putussibau, Kapuas Hulu. We and the people were very enthusiastic about welcoming him. We welcome him in the tradition of Dayak Taman, Hulu Kapuas. Taman is one of the Dayak sub-tribes who inhabit the island of Kalimantan. In welcoming Fr. Arnold, we used their traditional way. A representative of the congregation put on Fr. Arnold's head a beaded hat and draped it with a beaded scarf. After that, Fr. Arnold was invited to cut a log (crossing wood), only after that he could have an access to enter the house (Deo Soli community) preceded by a traditional dance performed by Montfort Youth. After the reception, we shook hands and took pictures with him. We closed the welcome ceremony with lunch together with him in the dining room of the community. An atmosphere of brotherhood and joy animated our togetherness at that time.
2. The Opening of Continental Mission Year
The opening of the Continental Mission Year was carried out in the Eucharist Celebration with inculturation. All preparations for the celebration were well organized. The celebration was streamed live on YouTube channel of Putussibau parish. Here is its link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRXmCPvf6M0&t=9912s. The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Father Arnold, SMM and was held at Deo Soli mission house.
The Mass begun with a Dayak dance and the priests in the procession wore Dayak beaded hats as an expression of gratitude for the acceptance of Montfort Missionaries in Dayak land. In his homily, Father Arnold, following the readings, underlined three things: the Glory of God, doing good deeds and becoming light.
After the eucharistic celebration, there were various performances presented by different groups including Montfort Youth which were punctuated by various welcome words. In this cultural evening, Montfort Youth was launched officially by Father Arnold, SMM. We closed the evening with dinner together.
3. Workshop and Agenda of Continental Mission Year
The workshop and preparation of the Continental Mission Year calendar was held on February 1, 2022, at 16.00 local time at Deo Soli mission house. It was Father Rafael, SMM who coordinated the workshop. Those who attended it were Montfort Missionaries, Lay collaborators, Daily Parish Pastoral Council from each Parish served by Montfort Missionaries, members of Association Mary Queen of All Hearts (AMQAH) and Montfort Youth.
The meeting was divided into four sessions: presentation of Montfortian Continental Mission Year, sharing experiences from representatives of AMQAH of Putussibau, discussion on how this mission year is applied in the local context of West Kalimantan and preparation of the calendar of activities in West Kalimantan.
4. Spiritual Retreat
From Wednesday to Friday, February 2-4, 2022, we held a retreat preached by Father Arnold, SMM. The theme given was on servant leadership inspired by the Gospel of Luke 2:22 in combination with the spirit of Father De Montfort. During the retreat, we were given various inputs and reflections about being a leader who serves.
In a day, we had two sessions followed by personal reflection. In the evening we shared experiences while playing cards together, singing, enjoying music and soft drinks... We lived all this in the atmosphere of Montfortian brotherhood.
That's our sharing. May all our confreres, especially those in Asia and Oceania, stay healthy and full of spirit in serving with the spirit of "Rise and Shine".
Fr. Bronislawa Saryono Nasredin, SMM