Five new priests and 31 deacons ordained in one week (photos)
by Mathias Hariyadi

At St Ignatius of Loyola parish in Pasir Pengaraian, Fr Maximus Malaof Kosat was the first to become priest. Fr Ignatius Dhay and Fr Plasida Palius are now Capuchin priests. An ethnic Dayak and an ethnic Chinese will serve in the Diocese of Pontianak.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church in Indonesia celebrated the ordination of five new priests and 31 deacons last week.

The diocese of Padang, which includes Riau province (Sumatra island), welcomed Fr Maximus Malaof Kosat, 37, from Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara province (West Timor).

Officiated last Thursday by Mgr Martinus Dogma Situmorang, the ordination ceremony was held at the St Ignatius of Loyola parish in Pasir Pengaraian, Rokan Hulu district (pictured), a first for the local Catholic community.

The small and remote settlement, home mostly to internal migrants, heard the proclamation of the Gospel only 25 years ago thanks to Fr Stephanus Bratakarta, SJ.

Mgr Agustinus Agus and Mgr Hieronymus Herculanus Bumbun, current archbishop and archbishop emeritus of Pontianak respectively, celebrated the Mass with which Fr Ignatius Dhay and Fr Plasida Palius became Capuchin priests (pictured) two days ago at Holy Cross Parish, Ngabang District (West Kalimantan). Some 61 priests from every part of the vast archdiocese took part in the service.

Three days earlier, Mgr Agus had consecrated to the priestly life two diocesan priests in St Joseph parish in Pemangkat (pictured), near Singkawang, a city where over 70 per cent of the population is ethnic Chinese.

One of the two new priests, Fr Paulinus Surip, is an ethnic Dayak Kanayatn, a minority native to Indonesian Borneo. The other clergyman, Fr Valerius Hilarion Tjhen Hendra, was born in Pemangkat into an ethnic Chinese family.

The bishop of Malang (East Java), Mgr Henricus Pidyarto Gunawan, recently ordered 12 deacons (pictured) from the Congregatio Missionis (CM) and the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral.

Shortly before in Yogyakarta, the archbishop of Semarang, Robertus Rubiyatmoko, consecrated another 19 deacons, members from different institutes, from the dioceses of Semarang and Purwokerto, at St Paul major seminary.

(Sr Maria Seba, SFIC; Fr Titus Jatra Kelana; and Laurensius Suryono contributed to this article).

(Photo credit: Samuel BJP, Fr Kelana and Laurensius Suryono).