In a week, Catholics celebrated 20 ordinations in Lampung, Central Java and Kalimantan (Photo)
by Mathias Hariyadi

The bishop of Tanjung Karang ordained five new priests in his diocese. Mgr Robertus Rubiyatmoko, archbishop of Semarang, officiated the consecration ceremonies of 11 diocesan priests, a Xaverian father and two Trappists. The bishop of Ketapang ordained a priest in remote Air Upas to "promote religious vocations among local youth".

Ketapang (AsiaNews) – In just one week, the Catholic Church of Indonesia celebrated 20 priestly ordinations: five in Tanjung Karang (Lampung), 12 in Yogyakarta (province of Central Java), two at the Trappist monastery of St Mary in Rawaseneng (Central Java), and one in Air Upas, diocese of Ketapang (West Kalimantan).

Last week, the bishop of Tanjung Karang, Mgr Yohanes Harun Yuwono, ordained five new priests in his diocese (picture 2).

Yesterday, Mgr Robertus Rubiyatmoko, archbishop of Semarang, officiated the consecration ceremony of 11 diocesan priests and a Xaverian father, at the St Paul Major Seminary in Yogyakarta.

On Thursday, the prelate consecrated two deacons to the contemplative life at the Trappist monastery of St Mary in Rawaseneng (picture 1).

The parish of St Mary Queen of Peace in Air Upas yesterday celebrated the ordination of Deacon Bonefaseus Mite as a diocesan priest (gallery).

Air Upas is located in one of the most remote areas of the Diocese of Ketapang. Reaching it required seven hours of travel by car, on gravel roads through vast oil palm plantations.

The day before the ceremony, the AsiaNews correspondent faced the long journey together with Fr Bangun Nugroho Pr, a local priest.

The following morning, two traditional tribal ceremonies took place to celebrate the ordination. Bonefaseus Mite is from Bajawa, Flores Island (East Nusa Tenggara), where most people are Catholic.

While he was a child, he moved with his family to a migrant centre in Air Upas. The local Catholic community therefore wanted to pay homage to the new priest, first with dances typical of Flores Island, then with Dayak dances. Ethnic Dayak hail from the place.

The Bishop of Ketapang, Mgr Pius Riana Prapdi, led the Mass, attended by 37 priests of the diocese.

The simple church in Air Upas was still flooded following rains that hit West Kalimantan 24 hours earlier.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the prelate noted that the decision to celebrate an ordination at such a remote location was "due to a desire to promote religious vocations among local youth".

"For Catholics living in such distant places, attending such a ceremony is a rare opportunity. To a certain extent, this practice will emotionally influence people and motivate young people to have no doubts about the religious life," the prelate said.

(Air Upas ceremony photo credit to Fr. Mardianus Indra Pr)

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