Indonesia celebrates ordinations in new chapel

Archbishop Aloysius Sudarso, SCJ, of Palembang, ordains three men to the priesthood and four to the diaconate on January 25.

Today, on the Feast of St.Paul’s Conversion (January 25), the Indonesian Province is celebrating ordinations in the big new chapel of St.Paul Minor Seminary.

First, a bit about the seminary.  It was built in 1947, occupying a corner of a piece of land that was close to 10 acres in size, a marshy area that easily absorbed excessive amounts of rain.  Over the years, more landfill has been brought in to keep the buildings and their inhabitants dry.  It is now a quite elegant and suitable place, able to accommodate the more than 100 seminarians who regularly occupy it, plus the staff, which presently includes four SCJ priests, two Franciscan sisters and three full-time lay teachers.

The chapel easily seats 400 people, but tents have been set up on one side and in front of the entrance so that up to 2,000 people can be seated for the occasion.  I have been here for about a week and have seen the progress of the preparation committee as they go about their business; I am truly impressed.

Archbishop Al Sudarso will be in his glory when officiating at today’s afternoon service surrounded by more than 100 priests in the sanctuary with him, the majority of whom will be SCJs but a significant number priests of this diocese as well.

Those to be ordained to the priesthood will include two SCJs and one diocesan man.  Receiving diaconate ordination will be two SCJs and two diocesan men.  The two new SCJ deacons, by the way, hail from the Indian District.  Rinu and Hrudayaraj have been learning the Indonesian way of doing ministry for almost  two years now.  The two new Indonesian priests are Indri Irianto and Tri Mardhani.

There was a grand rehearsal last evening conducted by our learned and dedicated liturgist-in-residence, Fr. Agus Setyoaji, an SCJ graduate from a Manila university with a master’s degree in liturgy.  He has composed several booklets and many hymns for divine worship.  For the choir we have Miss Lena, who for the last 20 years has been praised for the perfectionist way she trains groups of singers for polyphonic music.  We already have heard what she and her high school singers will be rendering for us this evening since their practice sessions were carried our in the Xaverius school next door to our seminary.

I will try to send a little follow-up after the event, which most appropriately would be accompanied with some photos.  Who knows what might develop.  Even with the tents in place, we are still praying that it won’t rain.  Yours truly,

Fr. Tom Fix

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