Indonesia Ende: The Power of Media Online
On August 11th, 2011 the biggest online newspaper in Indonesia, Kompas.com published the news article with the name of Ledalero on it that triggered the chain of reactions from all over the world. The news article was Catholic Institute of Philosophy (STFK) Ledalero was on the edge of bankruptcy. The news went viral and created massive comments from Indonesian SVD-related people around the globe. They thought that the biggest SVD Seminary in the world would collapse.
As a matter of fact, there was a misunderstanding of the journalist to quote and interpret the statement of Provincial of Ende Province about two institutions with the name of Ledalero on it. The first one is St. Paul Seminary of Ledalero and the second one is STFK Ledalero. They are independent in handling the financial administration. STFK Ledalero is fine in term of financial matter. But, St. Paul Seminary of Ledalero had a big problem at that moment because of the financial cut from Generalate on the section of educational support to SVD seminarians. Provincial and his council asked the board redaction of Kompas.com to correct the news and insisted them to publish it up on the next day.
Blessing in disguise! It was an incident to recall. However, it triggered many concerns and the lay people sympathized with the education of the young SVD in Seminary of Ledalero to become a global missionary. After that incident, e-mails, calling, text, face book postings were flooding in to my mobile phone, my e-mail accounts and my social media accounts, it was amazing to see the responses. They asked what the problem was and what they could do from their part to resolve it. Interestingly, those who showed concern were mostly Indonesian lay people who recognized and admired the SVD missionary work here in Indonesia or abroad. I said to them, they could do their part by contributing the least that they have to keep education and formation of the young SVD going on.
Thanks to a lay people group called SGS (Serving God through SVD) which was formed a couple of years ago played a big role in this mission mindedness by networking with the lay people in Java to join the group. Last year, our treasurer of Seminary Ledalero reported that, because that “incident of bankruptcy” the donations and voluntarily contribution from the lay people related with the SVD were increasing significantly. The point is not the amount of money they contributed but their mission mindedness that motivated and encouraged them to do their part as responsible lay people.
Indonesia Jawa: Awareness to youth
We held a week long youth gathering in East Kalimantan. They came from seven parishes, the total number of them around 500 boys and girls. The theme was “Gerakan Misioner Kaum Muda Katolik” (Missionary Movement of the Catholic Youth). We talked about the responsibility and participation of the youth in the mission of the whole Church, their care of environment (JPIC), and the modern media communication and how they use it as a tool for proclamation of the Good News. The programmes were not only talk, reflection and youth interaction, but also combine with the sport competitions. The youth were very enthusiastic and actively involved and participated in the whole programmes. The main speakers in the venue were mission secretary and the communication coordinator of our province. They suggested that we can make the activity (youth week) as yearly program for them.
India Hyderabad: Lay Groups Reach
Out This SVD lay association picked up the street children and sponsored their medical expenses for them and for further education up to Primary School. Over 25 patients are being sponsored for their medical expenses with regular visits to the hospitals. SVD minor seminary is being helped financially by this group taking care of the young seminarians.
Korea: Instilling Mission Mindedness
We started the SNS method of mission animation through the SVD Blog recently. We are getting feedback gradually. A lot of lectures are given by two confreres in many dioceses, and also through retreats to religious and lay people mission mindedness is being instilled. Those people who come to our house for the meeting on mission benefactors, healing mass, family mass, mass for the priests and religious and devotion to Sacred Heart and Mother Mary, are promoting mission awareness in their own ways.
Kim, Bong Jong John