The Valdocco of Indonesia
Sumba, Indonesia, 6 March 2018 -- Thirty three years after the first Salesian presence in Indonesia (Jakarta) the large tree of Indonesia Salesian presence is growing in seven presences in Java and Sumba island. The most numerous community with 7 perpetually professed confreres (4 Priests and 3 Brothers), three practical trainees and 8 prenovices is located in the remote, poor and majority Christian island of Sumba (Rector Fr. Adie Prinanto).
Sixteen years after first confreres landed in Sumba (2002), our presence is being rooted with solid education presence - BLK Budi Daya Don Bosco (Vocation Training Center), Oratory and Secondary Technical School (SMK) Salesian Don Bosco, opened in 2014. It's really a good place to form our younger generations: the novitiate stage was present in Sumba for past 12 years, now there is only Aspirants and Prenovices. Beyond our walls of large rural based compound our Salesians are involved in multiple help to the local Church with youth ministry and Eucharist in the remote mission stations.
Recent interview with one of the first Don Bosco Alumni of Sumba presence, Mr. Pius Dappa Ole (teacher - carpentry section of Vocation Training Center) who got in touch with Don Bosco in 2002 offers a deep insight in the charismatic growth of Indonesia Valdocco:
When did you meet Don Bosco for the first time?
I have joined Don Bosco VTC through the ADM Sisters of Sumba, in my home village. I wanted to learn carpentry, and I approach Fr. Andres Calleja in 2003 and was soon accepted to the Don Bosco boarding house and started a regular life of common prayers, training for technical skills, discipline, recreation time with the Salesians. Our first group of trainees was of 32 students and only 13 of us concluded the first course after two years. Since the transfer of VTC in 2006 from the cathedral site to Don Bosco compound I became a teacher. Now I feel happy that I can give back the skills received from Don Bosco and teach younger generations!
What do you treasure most in the Bosconian education in Sumba?
I appreciated most our spiritual formation, how to arrange own time within the 24 hours frame, how to be orderly, how to forge close relationship with the Salesians who always showed us the way how to become good person.
What makes you happy as Lay Mission Partner of Don Bosco?
I feel that I can give also to other people own skills and knowledge to other young people to make them better, like the vision – mission of Don Bosco. I had a dream of Don Bosco: I met him at the foot of the hill, DB gave me many coconuts and asked me to share with other young people, but in order to share, I needed to climb the hill. And I did! The meaning of this dream… Before this dream I had already grateful heart for all things received from DB. Could not imagine what would be my life be without Don Bosco.
You dream about Don Bosco Salesian family in Sumba?
First we need to get know our Don Bosco VTC more within the local society and visit the parishes like in the past!
Second concern is about our graduates, who are not yet employed. Would be very good to gather a small group of Alumni (carpentry section) with some seed money to organize small carpentry in the town.