Eight new Jesuit priests were ordained in the Archdiocese of Semarang in Indonesia on August 19, said a report on Radio Veritas Asia.
“We are grateful to God for allowing us to accomplish the ordination this year, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic,” said Father Benedictus Hari Juliawan, provincial superior of the Jesuits in the country.
An AsiaNews report said it was the largest priestly ordination in recent years for the Indonesian Province of the Jesuits. The eight new priests come from Java, Borneo, and Sumatra.
“Today, God gives us this abundant occasion with all limitations and simplicity,” said Father Juliawan as he called for “support” for the new priests.
Archbishop Robertus Rubiyatmoko of Semarang ordained the new priests at the parish Church of St. Antonius in Kota Baru, Yogyakarta, Central Java in Indonesia, amid strict health restrictions.
Attendance to the celebration was limited to those who underwent self-quarantine and those who submitted negative results of COVID-19 testing.
In his homily, the archbishop said the ordination was “a great harvest for the Church” as he reminded the newly ordained priests to be always “man of the Church, a man of prayer, and man of evangelization.”
Father Juliawan said that as Jesuits “and men sent on a sacred mission,” each one of the new priests is expected “to show a joyful heart and spirit to perform” their tasks wherever they are sent.
“We believe that being a priest and a Jesuit is our way of life,” said newly ordained Father Martinus Dam Febrianto, SJ.
“We feel that God Himself called us and this is the best path for us,” he said, adding that it is “the purpose we were created for, for the salvation of souls and the glory of God in this world.”
Catholics made up 3.12 percent of the population of Indonesia in 2018. The Church is divided into 10 archdioceses and 27 dioceses.
Catholicism in Indonesia began with the arrival of the Portuguese in search of the Spice Islands in the 16th century.