Sorong (AsiaNews) – In the Indonesian province of Papua, priestly ordinations are a rare event for the local Catholic community, unlike the islands of Java and Flores (East Nusa Tenggara province), where they occur almost every year.
Thus, in order to promote vocations among young Catholics, the diocese of Manokwari-Sorong decided to celebrate this month the 70th anniversary of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Sorong, capital of the province, by consecrating two local seminarians – Fr Aloysius Susilo and Fr Yosep Lamak – to the priestly life.
Mgr Hilarion Datus Lega (pictures 2-3), bishop of the diocese, led the service on 26 November, assisted by Mgr Robertus Rubiyatmoko, archbishop of Semarang (Central Java), and Mgr Vincentius Sensi Potokota, archbishop of Ende (East Nusa Tenggara).
“The presence of the two primates represents a very significant fact for the diocese of Manokwari-Sorong,” Fr Stephanus Istoto Raharjo told AsiaNews.
“This year, it’s 25 years of collaboration between the dioceses of Manokwari-Sorong and Semarang, which is characterised by the latter’s commitment to sending diocesan priests to Papua”, said the clergyman, who arrived in Sorong from Semarang ten years ago.
Now, co-operation with the diocese of Ende on the “Catholic” island of Flores is set to start in the near future.
Given its vastness and remoteness and the many challenges it faces in terms of its pastoral life, the diocese of Manokwari-Sorong relies on the support of other Indonesian dioceses, including Kupang (East Nusa Tenggara) and Manado (North Sulawesi).
Thanks to this co-operation, the local Catholic community will be able to organise events that will take place in the coming months, namely the 75th anniversary of the parish of St Martin in Kaimana and the 80th anniversary of the parish of St Augustine in Manokwari.