Section title text:  Recent News.

New Venture in Indonesia: Purwokerto

People say that there is always a first time for everything. Here is one among many of our firsts.
What is it?


We moved house...;we opened a new community...; we began our third house...;

For the first few months there were only two Indonesian sisters, Sr. Lidwina Tri Ariastuti fcJ and Sr. Afra Primadiana fcJ, there. Now we are strengthened by the presence of Sr. Margaret Claver Hayes fcJ. This community is like a branch of Baciro (Yogyakarta) community, with Sr. Marion Dooley fcJ as the local leader.

With students in class.Where is it?

It is in Purwokerto...;about four hours bus ride from Yogyakarta. It is in a different diocese from Yogyakarta, so it is the first time we have had a community in the Purwokerto diocese.

Why have we begun there?

The welcome and support that we received from the bishop and the people here was very compelling. There are not many religious congregations in this diocese. In fact, there is only one other congregation of women in Purwokerto. We hope that we can enrich the local Church with our spirituality and charism and, at the same time, be enriched by the new culture and the people here. Since Purwokerto is just about Afra with class.200 km from Yogyakarta, we thought that this distance would make it possible for both communities in Yogya to support us, and we to support the communities in Yogya.

When did it happen?

We moved house on September 3, 2002. The day before there was a lovely missioning liturgy at Soropadan, Yogyakarta. All of us were exited and filled with new energy and hope for this new beginning. Everybody supported the move in various ways, from packing up, getting things into the car, accompanying us to Purwokerto and helping with the unloading, with preparing prayer and meals, etc. Until we could get a rented house, we had accommodation in a house at the back of a clinic, which belongs to the diocese.

Margaret Claver with older woman.What is life like there?

For the first few months we had time for research and orientation before we finally decided our ministries. Now Sr. Wina is missioned to work at Bruderan Senior High School, as a mathematics teacher and counselor. She is also involved in the diocesan youth commission. Sr. Afra works at the Social Justice Commission (diocesan level) and in campus ministry. She also offers spiritual accompaniment (giving retreats and recollection days to individuals and groups).

The Diocese Purwokerto is about 15.356 km square. The population is about 18 million people, and the Catholics are only 0.65% (= 76,000 people). With others in this diocese, we are present not only for the Catholics but to serve the Reign of God which is for all people.

We’ve been blessed with many supports given to us through letters, prayers and visits. In just a short length of time, we’ve been visited by Barbara Brown-Graham, Margarita Byron, Marguerite Goddard and Madeleine Gregg as well as by the FCJs living Yogya. Now that we have our new rented house, we are in a full gear, joyfully looking forward to being faithful companions of Jesus ministering here in Purwokerto!

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Our little Society has for its end
     to glorify the heart of Jesus
           by  every means in its power ...     (Marie Madeleine)