20th Anniversary of the Province

The missionary zeal planted by St. Eugene de Mazenod in his children’s heart has brought the Oblates to preach Jesus Christ in many difficult places around the world – including Indonesia.


The first delegation of Australian Oblates arrived at the Diocese of Purwokerto, Central Java, on 25 October 1971. Frs. Patrick MORONEY, David SHELTON, Patrick SLATTERY and John Kevin CASEY started working in the Diocese of Purwokerto in 1972, then in the Archdiocese of Jakarta in 1975. Seeing the chance of developing Oblate vocations among Indonesian youth, in 1982 the Oblates opened a seminary; in 1985, they opened a novitiate. Both formation houses are located in Yogyakarta.

The first delegation of French Oblates arrived in the Diocese of Sintang, West Kalimantan (Borneo), on 25 January 1977. Frs. Andre HEBTING, Jean-Pierre MEICHEL, Rene COLIN, Bernard KERADEC, Jacques CHAPUIS, Jean SUBRA and Lucien BOUCHARD were missionaries expelled from Laos when the country fell to the Communists. On 30 August 1977, these Oblates began their work at the Diocese of Sintang, West Kalimantan, breaking through forests and traveling down the rivers to find souls who longed to meet our Lord.

The first Delegation of Italian Oblates reached the Diocese of Samarinda, East Kalimantan (Borneo), on 25 April 1977. Frs. Giuseppe REBUSSI, the Superior of the Delegation, Fr. Pietro Maria BONOMETTI, Natalino BELINGHERI, Antonio BOCCHI, Angelo ALBINI, Mario BERTOLI and Pancrazio DI GRAZIA were also missionaries expelled from Laos. They were entrusted the development of the northern part of the Diocese of Samarinda. On 09 January 2002, the Holy See announced the birth of a new diocese, the Diocese of Tanjung Selor. This was a great grace from God to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Oblates’ work in East Kalimantan.


Three delegations of Oblates from 3 different provinces worked in Indonesia, in the unreachable parts of the country. A good communication was established among the 3 delegations, but there was a yearning to be united – to be one in their work, to be one Oblate Missionary Community, especially as the number of Indonesian youth who would like to be Oblates was increasing. The yearning to be united was proposed in a meeting in the Philippines, which was attended by Father General, Marcello ZAGO, members of the General Administration, the provincials of the Asia-Oceania Region, and the superiors from the 3 delegations who worked in Indonesia. An encouraging response was given by Father General who then visited the mission fields of the Oblates in Indonesia. The positive results of the visit made the desire for unity more realistic.

In August 1992, a Congress for all Oblates in Indonesia took place in Sanggau, West Kalimantan, resulting in a final decision to be united as the OMI Province of Indonesia. Father General and his Council officially received the results of the Congress and prepared for the birth of a new province in the Congregation. Father General officially appointed Fr. Mario BERTOLI as the first Provincial of the Province of Indonesia, and Frs. John Kevin CASEY, Bernard KERADEC, Natalino BELINGHERI and Gregorius Basir KARIMANTO as the first Provincial Council.

During a Mass on the Founder’s anniversary of death, on 21 May 1993, the Province of Indonesia was inaugurated by Fr. Marcello Zago, at the chapel of the Sisters of Charles Borromeo at Yogyakarta. At the same time, 3 scholastics professed their perpetual vows before Father General: Scholastics Dominikus PARETA, Yakobus PRIYATNA, and Antonius Andri ATMAKA.

In his homily, Father General said, among others things: “The main reason for which the Oblates came to Indonesia is the same: to preach God’s love to the people of Indonesia and to save those who need salvation. Today, by the formation of the Province of Indonesia, we declare our permanent commitment to preach to the poor in Indonesia and from Indonesia, as an expression of sharing God’s love with His people. God the Father so loved the world that He sent His Son to save the people. We are sent to do the same mission: to share the compassion and love of God with the people who needs salvation.”

One important step began 20 years ago. A dream of unity has been realized. Together we have a dream; together in unity we make the dream come true. (Caraka Team)

(Source: OMI Communications, www.omiworld.org)

Eugene de Mazenod

Kemampuannya dalam pewartaan injil dan bakat kepemimpinannya dalam mengarahkan berbagai Misi merupakan tanda-tanda lahir hidup batin yang menjadikan Eugene de Mazenod sebagai penjala manusia.


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