Two Augustinian Recollects have traveled to the country to learn the language and begin the procedures to start the mission in the country. The San Ezequiel Moreno Province had doubted for months the country where the work would begin
After months of analysis and debate, the Order of Augustinian Recollects will expand its presence to one more country. Indonesia will be the new mission of the Recollects. This has been decided by the San Ezequiel Moreno Province, on which this new work in the country will depend. Two Augustinian Recollect religious, who volunteered to begin this mission, are since Thursday in Indonesia.
Russell Lapidez and Dominador Mercado, until now missionaries in Sierra Leone, traveled with the Prior Provincial, Dionisio Selma, and Edgar Tubio, head of the Missionary Apostolate section. During the next months, the two Augustinian Recollects appointed for the mission will reside in the convent of the religious brothers of ‘Kongregasi Hati Maria Tak Bernoda’ (Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary). For the moment their work will be to learn the Bahasa language, learn the customs of the country and know the religious work that takes place in the Archdiocese of Pontianak, where they will be established. Your bishop, Agustinus Agus, has welcomed you.
It will be in 2019 when the Augustinian Recollects are finally established in Indonesia. The first community in the country will be constituted next year, once a third religious of the Province is added and the pastoral work that will be carried out in the Diocese is known. This is how the Prior Provincial clarifies: “A community will not be established yet; He will prepare for this by sending two friars to learn the language. ” In this way a new mission of the Order of Augustinian Recollects will begin, the tenth in the whole world, extending its presence to 21 countries.
The new mission of Indonesia fulfills the mandate of the General Chapter of 2016, which urged the Province of Saint Ezekiel Moreno to expand its missionary work to another country in Asia. The provincial superiors began to study possible countries. In the first place there were four: Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia. The Provincial Chapter held in February 2018 approved the new mission without clarifying the country: Vietnam or Indonesia.
In the letter sent to the Prior General at the end of July, in which he already informed of the plans to follow, Dionisio Selma affirmed that finally the Province decided Indonesia “for the disposition of the diocese, the socio-political and religious climate, and for the work program of the mission, among other factors. ”
The two Augustinian Recollects volunteered as fast as they knew the fate of the new mission. Russell Lapidez has spent eight years in Kamabai (Sierra Leone), where he was a prior of one of the communities. Dominador Mercado has also been a missionary in Sierra Leone for seven years, being local prior of Kamalo.