Yohanes Damianus, OMI

Oblates of the Indonesian Province spent days together to discern God’s will and to thank the Lord for the work of salvation which he accomplishes through them.

Together, discerning God’s will in the urgent needs of our times

After the first meeting on 15-17 November 2022, last year, as a Province, the Oblates from around the Indonesian Archipelagos came together for an Oblate gathering held at the Oblate Retreat House in Kaliori, Central Java, on 3-7 July 2023. The aim of the gathering was mainly to give a clear response to the 37th General Chapter Document.  The gathering allowed us as a Province to reflect on how we can implement and contextualize the Chapter message in our respective areas of ministries. As quoted in the Chapter Document, we think that this Gathering was indeed a moment to be “together, in union with the Church, we discern God’s will in the urgent needs of our times and thank the Lord for the work of salvation which he accomplishes through us” (C 125).

Celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the presence of the Oblates on Indonesian soil

Two things have made this Oblate Gathering so special. Firstly, it was an occasion for us as a Province to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Oblate mission on Indonesian soil, where the first Oblate arrived in October 1971. Since the pandemic limited our movement and traveling for the last few years, we decided that this year is an opportunity to celebrate the jubilee as a Province. 2023 also marks the 30th anniversary of our Province and the 40th anniversary of our Major Seminary, Wisma De Mazenod, Condong Catur, Jogjakarta.

Deepening the General Chapter Document with Fr. Henricus ASODO

Secondly, it was the first time we welcomed our beloved Fr. Henricus Asodo, OMI, who is visiting his home Province as a Second Assistant General. He has been away from our Province for over nine years for ministry in Aix-en-Provence. We had an opportunity for a two-day retreat with him on deepening the General Chapter Document, followed by two days dedicated to group sharing and plenary. The gathering helped us to understand the most profound message of the Chapter and respond to it by reshaping and mapping out our future ministries in the Province as Oblates.

Superior General’s message to the Province

The highlight of the gathering was a thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Henricus ASODO. All the Oblates in the first formation were present. Some lay people from our Schools, Clinics, other representatives from some ministries, and the Mazenodian family also attended the celebration. In the last part of the Eucharistic, we listened to the Superior General’s message, highlighting the essential points of the Chapter and his special support and blessing for the Province.

Sense of family and togetherness

What a grand celebration, from the solemn atmosphere during the Eucharistic celebration to the sense of family and togetherness experienced after Mass and felt by everybody present. The presence of different groups livened up the liturgy and the opening of the gathering. We are grateful to all those who contributed in one way or the other, for example, a group of traditional dancers from our Maritime Academy and the different choir groups who graced the gathering with enthusiasm and positive energy.

Pope Francis’ message

We recall the message of Pope Francis to the Oblates as recorded in our General Chapter Document when he said, “May your Founder, the charism he transmitted to you, and his missionary vision be and remain points of reference for your life and your work.” We look forward to our next gathering for a moment of sharing as pilgrims of hope.