Recoletos community in Indonesia formally established

1a

QUEZON CITY – January 8, 2020 will go down in history as the “official birthday” of the first Recoletos community in Indonesia. That’s practically around sixteen months after the arrival of the pioneer group of Augustinian Recollect missionaries in this Muslim-dominated country.

It was on September 19, 2018, feast day of St. Alonso de Orozco, an Augustinian saint, when the two Recoletos missionaries – Frays Russell Lapidez and Dominador Mercador Jr. – first set foot in the Archdiocese of Pontianak in West Kalimantan (Borneo). They were accompanied by no less than the Prior Provincial himself, Fray Dionisio Selma, and the Section Head for Mission Apostolate, Fray Edgar Tubio. 

In compliance with the mandate of the 55th General Chapter and the Life and Mission Project (2018-2022) of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, the mission in Indonesia was opened, thanks to the cordial welcome of Archbishop Agustinus Agus. And thanks as well to Frays Lapidez and Mercado who, equipped with missionary experiences and fervor, blazed the trail and “broke ground” for what would become the first Augustinian Recollect community in Indonesia. Together with the newly-ordained priest, Fray Jovy Gallego, they comprise the Province’s 26th local community, which will later be headquartered in the district of Ledo, of the Bengkayang Regency.

Fray Lapidez was appointed Local Prior. Fray Mercado was recommended to be the Parish Priest (or whatever is the equivalent title) of soon-to-be-declared Sts. Peter and Paul Quasi-Parish. Fray Gallego was appointed Local Procurator and Chronicler.

In his protocol that gave the green light for the establishment of this new community, Prior General, Very Rev. Fray Miguel Miró, OAR, told the Prior Provincial, referring to the three missionaries: “All of them deserve our trust and recognition for their audacity and availability.”

Seasoned Missionaries

Frays Lapidez and Mercado are seasoned missionaries. Still in their early 40s, they had already spent more than six years in Sierra Leone, West Africa when they made themselves available to work in this Southeast Asian mission. In a few months’ time since their arrival, they were able to gradually adapt to the new environment, including its distinctly Malay language. But the journey was – and is – not that easy. As Fray Mercado tried to describe it: “Many would think and say that Bahasa Indonesia is easy to learn because of its similarities with the Filipino and Visayan languages. But the truth is, the similarities are nothing compared to the dissimilarities of vocabularies, sentence structure, and idiomatic expressions. It is difficult and energy-consuming.”

But having personally assessed their communication skills in Bahasa Indonesia to be satisfactory, the archbishop handed each of the two his initial yet temporary appointment: Fray Mercado was to extend help in the Katedral Santo Yosep (St. Joseph Cathedral) while Fray Lapidez, in the Paroki Maria Ratu Pencinta Damai (Mary Queen of Peace Parish).

While this was the arrangement for six months, until June of 2019, the conscientious bishop saw to it that the two Augustinian Recollect friars would be able to keep their religious observances as well. The Theologate House of the archdiocese became their “home base,” where they would meet after their parish works, sit together and make sense of their lived experiences in their respective parish ministry. Here, too, they would join in the basic daily schedule of the seminarians such as the praying of the Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the holy rosary, celebration of the holy mass, meals, recreation, study, and rest. Fray Mercado likened this place to a training center because it was here that, plucking up enough courage, they had started to preside the holy mass in Bahasa, and to deliver their homily also in Bahasa. 

Much earlier, before their sojourn in this Theologate Seminary, they first stayed for a month at the convent of the “Kongregasi Bruder Maria Tak Bernoda” (“Congregation of the Brothers of Mary Immaculate Conception”) adjacent to the cathedral to first learn the local language. This was actually the cradle of their transition to Indonesian culture.

Progress Report

On the last week of June 2019, the two Recollect friars left for Bengkayang, one of the 17 districts of the eponymous regency, around 170 kms from the city of Pontianak. The convent of Paroki Santo Pius X (St. Pius X Parish) here would be their home for the coming months. (Coincidentally, St. Pius X, pope from 1903 to 1914, is historically linked with the Augustinian Recollects for having elevated their Congregation into a Religious Order in 1912. Pius X was canonized in 1954.) 

Meantime, this convent where the diocesan priests assigned in this parish also stay, serves as the friars’ halfway house to their pastoral activities at Sts. Peter and Paul Chapel (which will later become a quasi-parish) and its different “stasis” (or “outstation chapels”). The two Recollects have already visited almost all these stasis and celebrated mass with the parishioners. “The people received the missionaries with open arms and expressed their excitement to work alongside them,” Fray Mercado observed.

According to Fray Mercado quoting the archbishop, St. Pius X Parish will soon be divided into two: this matrix parish and the one to be administered by the Recollects. The present Sts. Peter and Paul Chapel which is located in Ledo district, around 30 kms away from Bengkayang district, will fall under the jurisdiction of the Recollects. An interesting feature is highly noticeable here: a road is separating the present chapel from the newly-built convent. When Fray Gallego arrives in March 2020, the three-member community will transfer in this convent for a temporary stay until the bigger one and the new parish church some three minutes away from Sts. Peter and Paul will have been constructed and ready for occupancy. When asked about the name of this bigger convent and new parish, Fray Mercado replied: “It’s still up in the air.” 

In his latest report to the Prior Provincial, Fray Lapidez echoed the plan of the archbishop i.e., to start the construction of the parish convent within this year, and “that a quasi-parish will be established first, without specifying the exact date.”

He also said that their ability to speak Bahasa Indonesia has greatly improved. “We can communicate better now and have adjusted well to the culture of the people.”

More posts about:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

Fray Jose Ernil F. Almayo, OAR, is currently the Provincial Secretary of the St. Ezekiel Moreno Province and Chairman of the Commission on Communications and Publications-Recoletos

Leave a Comment





< 2021 >
January
SMTuWThFS
     1
  • All day
    January 1, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

    54th WORLD DAY OF PEACE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cristita Cha, AR

2
  • All day
    January 2, 2021

    ATTENTION: Provincial-Level Christmas Party is CANCELLED.

    SIMPLE PROFESSION OF VOWS OF FRAY CHRISLEAN REY PAMILAGA
    SEMONORE, Antipolo City / 10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Conrado Flores, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Toro, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Marcelina Nicolas, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

3
  • All day
    January 3, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY

    500th Year of the Excommunication of Martin Luther (1521-2021)

    60th Anniversary of the Establishment of a Catholic Hierarchy in Indonesia

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Bella Mojica, AR
    Sis. Basilisa Espinola, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Carmencita Abis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Melodina Paragat, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Clemencia Ranin, AR

4
  • All day
    January 4, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Ernil Orbecido, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis Mary Grace Susas, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Fran Cheska Marie Andan (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Regina Cadiz, AR
    +Sr. Adelaida Elli, AR

5
  • All day
    January 5, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis Estelita Divinagracia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Bro. Jose Pepito Gabriel Bonete, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Emiliana Carao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Leila Barizo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Cleofe Claro, AR
    +Fray Casiano Cosmilla
    [Attention Recoletos de Manila Community: “the community to which he belongs will celebrate… Mass on the first anniversary of his death” (Add. Code 94a)]

6
  • All day
    January 6, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Sylvia Evina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Grace Aba-a, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Juana de la Merced, AR
    +Bro. Rustico Magdales, SAR (Manila Chapter)

7
  • All day
    January 7, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Eliza Stubbs, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

8
  • All day
    January 8, 2021

    RST: START OF ENROLMENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Sr. Leticia Cerdeño, AR

9
  • All day
    January 9, 2021

    FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE
    (The traditional Traslación is canceled due to Covid-19)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rosario Bianes, AR
    Sis. Marcelina Taguinod, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    |+Sr. Dominga Gargarita, AR

10
  • All day
    January 10, 2021

    FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Luz Asuncion Nitura, AR
    +Sr. Paulina de la Purisima Corazon de Maria, AR

11
  • All day
    January 11, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Catalina Ruiz, AR
    Sis. Elena Dagdag, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Ian Gabrielle Canlubo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Zita Lloren, AR
    +Sis. Elena Caballero, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

12
  • All day
    January 12, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Sis. Josephine Guinto, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Bro. Hilario Torcedo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    +Sr. Ma. Fortunata Gayumale Gaspillo, AR

13
  • All day
    January 13, 2021

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (1998-2021)
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Jonathan Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Antonio Sonsona, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Mo. Rosario Rosales, AR

14
  • All day
    January 14, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Emilia Madrigal, AR
    Bro. Jose Valdez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Luisa Gumiran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Esterlita Gracia, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

15
  • All day
    January 15, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Sr. Ma. Marcela de la Cruz, AR
    Bro. Maximo Epanto, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Virgin de la Consolacion, AR

16
  • All day
    January 16, 2021

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD RELATIVES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    BIRTHDAY
    Mo. Maria del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod)
    Sr. Zerah Cordero, AR
    Sis. Alice Mojica, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Bernarda Tan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Lucia Degamo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Amelia Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

17
  • All day
    January 17, 2021

    FEAST OF THE STO. NINO

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Corvin Maturan
    Sis. Belen Taniagao, SAR (Miranila Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Celedonia de la Santissima Trinidad, AR
    +Sr. Cesaria Barbarona, AR

18
  • All day
    January 18, 2021

    WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
    Inclusive dates: January 18-25, 2021
    Theme: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 16:1-17)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa
    Sis. Guia Gonzales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

19
  • All day
    January 19, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cleofe Maria Agua, AR
    Sis. Angelica Tejada, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Myrna Amante, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

20
  • All day
    January 20, 2021

    ST. SEBASTIAN (PATRON SAINT OF MANILA & CAVITE COMMUNITIES, DIOCESE OF BACOLOD)

    SSC-R MANILA’s FOUNDATION CELEBRATIONS
    Inclusive dates: January 20-22,2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Adelina Reyes, AR
    Sis. Mercedes Velada, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

21
  • All day
    January 21, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Urbano Galanido
    Fray Jerome Virtudazo
    Sis. Leticia de Silva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Alice Catulong, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Anecita Paglinawan, SAR (Laray Chapter)

22
  • All day
    January 22, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD (Bishop of Baguio)

23
  • All day
    January 23, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Marciano Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Gloria Acosta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Esterlina Silva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Rosemarie Gaspar, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Judith Mondejar (RAY-Caidiocan)
    Kathrine Bacalso (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Gertrudis del Pilar, AR
    +Sr. Cresencia Vailoces, AR

24
  • All day
    January 24, 2021

    SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD
    [NOTE: Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, Motu proprio Aperuit illis, published on 30 September 2019, establishes that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God”.]

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Paz Bawagan, AR
    Sr. Faith Niña Fuertes, AR
    Sis. Florida San Juan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Raymunda Co, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Analyn Martinez (RAY-Valencia)

25
  • All day
    January 25, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

    CSNT-Rs 50th (1971-2021) FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY Inclusive dates: January 25-30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Erlinda Casaje, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bro. Rodelio Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Feddie Junsay, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Joelle Maria Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lucia Sagmit, AR

26
  • All day
    January 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristopher Maspara
    Sis. Henrietta Morales, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2021)
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Margarita Zafra, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

27
  • All day
    January 27, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marilyn Cula, AR
    Sr. Remilyn Leonido, AR
    Sis. Evelyn Balingit, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Murita Jara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

28
  • All day
    January 28, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Louie Gabinete

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda del Pilar, AR
    Sr. Ines Garcia, AR

29
  • All day
    January 29, 2021

    LAUNCHING OF HEART SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN 2021 / Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno only

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Francisca Rojas, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Insigne, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Jona Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

30
  • All day
    January 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jonathan Caballero
    Sr. Angelica Fuentes, AR
    Sr. Pascualina Peral, AR
    Sis. Violeta Siozon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Fedencia dela Criz, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Minerva Alcarde, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

31
  • All day
    January 31, 2021

    4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    68th WORLD LEPROSY DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Josephine Ativo, AR
    Sis. Saturnina Antolihao, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Lance Raven Lapinig (RAY-Talisay)

      

Categories