With great joy and gratitude the Province of Indonesia celebrated ninety years of Good Shepherd mission on 27 April, 2017.
In response to Monsignor Antonius van Velsen’s invitation, six Good Shepherd missionary sisters from the Netherlands arrived in Batavia (Jakarta) on 27 April, 1927. The seeds that were sown in Indonesia ninety years ago have grown and borne fruit. Our God who began Good Shepherd mission in Indonesia is always at work.
Mission partners, sisters and lay, planned various activities to mark the anniversary. We welcomed with joy and gratitude Sr Zelna Oosthuizen (Congregational Leadership Team, Apostolic Councillor) whose visit coincided with the 90th anniversary celebrations. Sr Zelna visited several communities in Indonesia and engaged in dialogue with mission partners. Her presence was a special blessing for all mission partners during the festivities.
The Province Leadership Team held a session from 24-27 April, 2017 to review the realities of the Indonesia Province during the past three years and plan for the next three years. Sr Zelna attended the session along with thirty-eight sisters and nine lay mission partners representing each community. Fr Agustinus Purnomo, MSF, facilitated the session. This group searched for new ways to organize the mission in order to be more effective and relevant and to bring about positive impact on everyone and be a blessing for many.
On the feast of St Mary Euphrasia, April 24, 2017, we were happy and grateful to celebrate the silver jubilee of Sr Magdalena, RGS, and the golden jubilee of Sr Immaculata Retno, RGS.
The peak celebration of the 90th anniversary of Good Shepherd mission in Indonesia was held on 27 April, 2017 and attended by mission partners, staff and their families, families of the sisters, friends and benefactors. The solemn moment began with the blessing by Monsignor Ignatius Suharyo, the Archbishop of Jakarta, of the Good Shepherd Mission House. The Mission House is a means to share with visitors the charism and mission of the Good Shepherd in Indonesia and to encourage visitors to become Good Shepherd ambassadors by proclaiming the compassion of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, in the midst of the difficulties and challenges of our time.
The celebration continued with a thanksgiving Eucharist presided by ten priests with the main presider, Monsignor Ignatius Suharyo. In his homily, Monsignor Suharyo described how to be a prophet today. To be a prophet means to experience oneness with God, to have one heart and feeling with God, and to truly understand the Heart of God. Furthermore, a prophet is never outdated. A prophet has intelligence of the mind, intelligence of the heart, as well as the spiritual and emotional intelligence to be able to read the signs of the times.
The thanksgiving celebration concluded with a presentation by the students of Santa Maria Fatima School in movement and song depicting the ninety year journey of Good Shepherd mission in Indonesia. The students also performed cultural dances from several regions of Indonesia that added vibrancy and excitement to the atmosphere. The gathering was a special moment and experience of being Good Shepherd family.
The Good Shepherd tree planted in Indonesia is already ninety years old. The tree has grown and become bigger.
May the spiritual wealth we have received throughout the ninety years – a firm faith, a burning zeal, the totality of self-giving in service, and the courage to take risks for the sake of mission – continue to burn in the hearts of all mission partners to carry forward God’s mission in this world, the mission of reconciliation that restores every person’s dignity.
Submitted by Sr Veronica Endah