Eugene BENEDICT, General Councillor for Asia-Oceania, recently visited Indonesia from October 16–30, 2023, to lend support and encouragement to our Oblates in the Indonesian Province. Here, he recounts his experience.

Despite being the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia exemplifies religious diversity with a spirit of unity and peace. Individuals enjoy the freedom to practice their faith while embracing a strong sense of hospitality and respect for others.

The Oblate presence in Indonesia can be traced back to 1971 when Oblates from the Australian Province first arrived. After the expulsion of Oblates from Laus, eight missionaries from Italy and France sought refuge in Indonesia and joined their fellow Oblates who were already involved in evangelization efforts.

Today, the Oblates in Indonesia are enthusiastic, wholeheartedly dedicated to their mission, and live a simple lifestyle. They carry out their work within communities, with a special focus on serving the poor and marginalized in all their ministries. Inspired by the life of our Founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod, the Oblates strive for holiness through regular spiritual practices such prayer, meditation, Oraison, contemplation, Eucharist, visit to the Blessed Sacrament, Eucharistic adoration, scripture reading, Marian devotion, recollections, and retreats.

I was able to meet the Oblates individually and as a community. It was a visit to the missions, parishes, formation houses, and institutions, schools and other places of ministry. It was also a visit to support and encourage our Oblates in the Province.

I really cherished the hospitality of our Oblates, and I am profoundly grateful.
May God bless the Province of Indonesia.