June 8 is the Birthday of INA (Indonesia) Vice-province
By Fr. Stefano Vanoli, SDB
RMG -- On June 8, 2018 was approved the erection of the new Vice-province of Saint Louis Versiglia of Indonesia (INA). The long awaited recognition brings the number of the East Asia – Oceania Region Circumscriptions to twelve: eight Provinces and four Vice-provinces. After the establishment of INA, the Timor Leste Vice-province (TLS) since 1998, Myanmar (MYM) since 2004 and Papua New Guinea – Solomon Islands (PGS) since 2015. With INA, the total number of the SDB Circumscriptions (Provinces and Viceprovinces, Special Circumscriptions) is 88.
Last June 2017 the Rector Major and his Council approved the timeline for the erection of the INA Vice-province: Report of the Delegate INA about the State of the Delegation, Canonical visit of the ITM provincial superior, opinion and vote by both Councils (ITM Viceprovince and INA Delegation), Consultation promoted by the Rector Major to all confreres of ITM Vice-province (April – May 2018) and finally the approval for the erection of the new Vice-province by the Rector Major and his council (C156) today.
Salesian presence in Indonesia started in 1985 (under then united Philippines province, FIL) and the Delegation of Indonesia was canonically established in 2010. Over the years the service of the Delegate-Superior was entrusted to Fr. Yohanes Boedi Soerjonoto (2011-2013), Fr. Andre Delimarta (2014-2015) and finally to Fr. Lino Belo (2015-2018).
The need for the growth from the Delegation towards the Vice-province was already discussed and grew mature at various occasions. Already the first Delegation Assembly of Indonesia in 2012 produced a Road Map (2012-2018) with a clear goal to prepare the necessary animation environment and structures during past 6 years. Indeed, that dream was accomplished just today!
According the Report of the 2018 Extraordinary visitation (February – March 2018) there are 7 Salesian communities (5 canonical and two non canonical) with 61 SDB (30 Priests, 10 Salesian Brothers and 20 Salesians – candidates to the priesthood) with 12 novices and 8 prenovices this year. Another 6 Salesians of Indonesia are missionaries ad gentes in Europe, Latin America and East Asia. At present only five of the confreres working in Indonesia are coming from other countries – two from Timor Leste and three from the Philippines. Fr Andrew Wong was recently assigned to the INA by the Rector Major upon his missionary request ad gentes.
Recent Consultation’ to the ITM confreres for the establishment of the new Vice-province INA brought rich reflection for the leadership of Indonesia. Not only about the strong and weak point of the Salesian charism in Indonesia, but also about many items that might be included in the mutual agreement between Indonesia and Timor Leste Viceprovinces in the future.
There are still few more steps until the full swing of the new Indonesia Vice province (INA) – next June 20-21 will be held the consultation for the first Superior of the new Vice-province and after the appointment of the first Superior in the summer session of the General Council will follow the installation of the first Superior of the new Vice-province, scheduled for August 1, 2018 in Jakarta – Sunter.
St. Louis Versiglia, pray for us!
NB: After the establishment of the Indonesia (INA) Viceprovince, the Timor Leste Viceprovince will figure under the sigla of TLS (Timor Leste). Former sigla of ITM (Indonesia - Timor Leste) would no used anymore.