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Friday, 18 August 2023 11:53

Celebrations for the 100th anniversary in Indonesia Continue

Indonesian 100th Anniversary Celebrations Move from Jakarta to Malang

The celebrations for the 100 years of the Indonesian Province of the Carmelite Order continued in Jakarta on August 12-13. In addition to celebrating with the various Carmelite, parish, and school communities, this week has provided an opportunity for the Carmelites from other parts of the world to see the various ministries and houses of the Indonesian Province.

On Saturday, August 12, the community gathered with the community of the Mary Magdalene of Pazzi priory for lunch. This happened to coincide with the birthday of Huub Welzen, the prior provincial of the Netherlands. So in addition to the meal, the tradition birthday songs were sung, gifts were provided, and cake was shared.

Later in the afternoon, there was a Eucharistic celebration with the people of Mary Flower of Carmel parish. Benny Phang, a member of the Indonesian Province and vice-general of the Order was the main celebrant and preached. Following communion, FX Hariwan Adji, the prior provincial of the Indonesian Province spoke and then introduced all the Carmelites from other provinces who were in attendance. The prior provincial of the Dutch Province, Huub Welzen, also spoke as did Míceál O’Neill, the prior general of the Order. A reception followed the Mass with food, music, dancing and raffles.

On Sunday morning, the parish community of Mary Mother of Carmel parish joined with the Carmelites to celebrate. The prior provincial was the main celebrant. A meal followed this Mass for the Carmelites and some invited guests.

In the evening, the Carmelites joined the Little Way Community, to celebrate the 7th anniversary of the organization. The couples provide support to the province, particularly in the area of formation. Approximately 100 people attended the dinner.

On Monday the festivities transferred to Malang which is where the Carmelites originally established themselves in 1923. The Order took over administration of Malang’s Sacred Heart Parish from the Jesuits to begin their ministry in Indonesia. Flights were delayed due to the air force practicing at and around the airport for the up-coming Independence Day celebrations. So the planned visit to the novitiate in Batu had to be cancelled. The prior general and Robert Puthussery, the general council for Asia, Australia and Oceania, will visit the community later as will some of the Carmelites who are remaining a few extra days in the Malag area.

The Carmelites travelled on Tuesday morning to the Titus Brandsma Formation House. This community is made up of the professed who attend theology and philosophy classes at the university, STF Widya Sasana next door. Members took a tour of a classroom and office building completed in recent years. Then the group moved to the blessing of the new provincial library building. This multi-story structure with have a reading/study area which can be easily adapted for a meeting or conference with the students. The next floors will contain the library books. The roof will provide space (and secure safety measures) for the Carmelite students to play football or other sport since the library building eliminated their sports’ field.

That evening, the celebration of the Eucharist took place outdoors at Sr. Albert’s Carmelite High School. The main celebrant was Bishop Henricus Pidyarto Gunawan, O. Carm. He was joined by many Carmelites and religious priests, sisters, and approximately 1000 lay people. The Mass was followed by a lively show of dance and singing with many of the religious communities present as well as student groups from the school performing.

On Wednesday morning the Carmelites traveled to House of Mercy, Dau, a hospice established by the province to welcome elderly who have no family to take care of them. The house is open to people of all faiths. A local foundation of Carmelite sisters minister there full time. Carmelite students from Batu also provide assistance to the people as part of their outreach into the community.

On Wednesday evening Bishop Pidyarto dedicated the new chapel, community house, and museum at Karmel Parantijati, a columbarium established by the Carmelites. In addition to the columbarium, the space provided individuals or families area to walk around and pray while reflecting on scenes from the scriptures. Also on the property is a museum celebrating the story of the Carmelites as well as their ministries in Indonesia. The museum displays many objects from the members of the province that would have been part of their daily lives as well. Art pieces and some of the other collections celebrate the Indonesian culture.

The final days of celebration included a trip to Karmel Syanti Argo, a retreat house with accommodations for about 30 people. The staff includes two Carmelite sisters and 1 priest. The house sits on the side of a mountain, providing spectacular views. We shared a noon meal with the community there while enjoying the cooler air and incredible panorama.

Since August 17th is Indonesian Independence Day, another Mass was held at St. Albert Carmelite High School followed by a reception. This was followed by a dinner.

The celebrations move to Flores in the coming week.

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