Java island has recently been fertile ground for priestly vocations. Since May, Indonesian Catholics have celebrated some 45 consecrations. In August another 13 young men will become priests.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Indonesian Church celebrated the ordination of 11 new priests in a single day in the province of Central Java, eight Jesuit and three diocesan priests.
The event took place in separate ceremonies over two days and represent the most recent example of the commitment of Indonesia’s Catholic community to promoting the priesthood.
Since last May, Catholics celebrated 45 consecrations across the country. They will rejoice again this month by welcoming another 13 new priests.
The first of the latest two ordination ceremonies took place at St Anthony of Padua Church in Kotabaru, in the heart of Yogyakarta. Mgr Robertus Rubiyatmoko, Archbishop of Semarang, led the service.
The eight new Jesuit Fathers come from different parts of the country: Bali, Bogor (West Java), Jakarta and other areas of the province.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Central Java, Mgr Christophorus Tri Harsono of Purwokerto consecrated the newest diocesan clergy, three young men who grew up in as many local parishes.
Indonesian Catholics number 7.5 million and represent almost 3 per cent of the population. Java is the most populous island in the vast archipelago, and has recently proved to be fertile ground for priestly vocations.
Last week, Mgr Antonius Franciskus Subianto Bunyamin ordained five priests in the Diocese of Bandung, capital of West Java. In mid-July, a missionary of the Holy Family (MSF) and an Augustinian Discalced (OAD) were consecrated in Yogyakarta.
The latest priestly ordinations among Indonesian Catholics are not limited to the island of Java. In mid-July, Archbishop Aloysius Sudarso of Palembang (South Sumatera province) celebrated the ordination of an ethnic Batak, Fr Antonius Manik, in Sumatra.
In May Bishop Leo Laba Ladjar consecrated nine Franciscan and one diocesan priests in Jayapura, capital of Papua province, including two priests from indigenous minorities, Fr Hubertus Magai and Fr Benjamin Keiya.
Two weeks from now, three local youths will become Xaverian Fathers in East Nusa Tenggara province, and in Flores, an island where Catholics are the majority of the population.
But this month, the ceremony with the greatest number of ordinations will be held in Lampung province, with another ten priests added to the community of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.