|Sorong, Jayapura, West-Papua
The Delegation of West Papua was unanimously voted by the general Chapter to be raised to the status of a vicariate within the Order...
The Delegation of West Papua was unanimously voted by the general Chapter to be raised to the status of a vicariate within the Order. The Dutch Province have prepared the Delegation for this moment and recommended the creation of the new Vicariate of the Order. Fr Eusebio Berdon from Cebu has reviewed the readiness of the new Vicariate in 2012 and had approved the basis for the new vicariate which has more than enough men but will look to Holland for financial support over the next 10 years.
The canonical erection of the new Vicariate took place in two events in Sorong on November 1 and in Jayapura on November 4. The events in Sorong were held on the Feast of All Saints and the Principal Celebrant was Bishop Datus Hilarion Lega from the Diocese of Manokwari-Sorong assisted by many concelebrants including Fr Paul Clement, Provincial of Holland, Fr Bernardus Baru, outgoing Vicar of the Delegation, Fr Eusebio berdon, Provincial of Cebu, and Fr Tony Banks, Provincial of Australia and Assistant General. The novices and postulants who live joined in the celebrations which were held in the hall of a parish near to the downtown community.
After the Mass and the proclamation of the new Vicariate there was a wonderful showcase of talent including indigenous song and dances, contemporary choirs and much local food. Highlights included an award winning choir and the children in traditional clothing who performed some of the tribal dancers. As the evening and the festivities developed more and more people came to join in the celebrations. We left the locals dancing in the hall and full of delight at the growth and development of their Augustinians.
Over the next few days the visitors met the more than 30 priests and brothers in solemn vows, the 4 novices and the postulants in Aimas (Sorong), the 30+ professed students in Jayapura and many friends of the Order. It was a joy to be with the junior professed in their house in Jayapura. In addition to the Provincials there were also other Augustinians from Holland and Cebu present and a lay affiliate from Holland.
In Jayapura the celebrations were in the chapel of the professed house. The choir practiced for many hours in the preceding days and nights. Fr Bernardus and Fr Paul led the Mass and the celebrations with food brought in from near and far. The students sang and danced their way through the evening and are obviously very proud of the development of the Order in their area.
The new Vicariate has a number of parishes under our governance, a high school and significant student facilities for men aspiring to join the Order. Men in the Vicariate come from West Papua, East Timor, West Timor, Flores, Sulawesi, Java and Borneo as well as three men from Holland. They are a joyous and vibrant group.
The Indonesians have asked the Order to offer opportunities for higher education for some of their ordained and have asked for assistance in providing English teachers to:
Teach the seminarians in Jayapura
Work on the teaching staff at the high school in Manokwari
Help prepare the Augustinian sisters in Kalamintan, Borneo to host the APAC conference in October 2014