After the holiday season and the New Year, in the middle of January, a new semester of study in Indonesia usually begins. This year, however, due to the threat of the Covid-19, it was decided that classes will be held until the end of January via the Internet. In our Major Seminary Ledalero, the community number is over 400 people. There are already people in our neighbourhood who are suspected of having a corona virus, and in our seminary, several confreres are under quarantine. However, in the entire eastern part of Indonesia, there is only one city - Kupang where it can be checked if it is a corona virus. We wait for the test result about a month, because the queue is so long. In the meantime, more people suspected of having the corona virus are quarantined. From time to time, there is information that someone has died from the virus. Then the funeral takes place immediately, without the participation of relatives. But is it really the corona virus? Again, one has to wait a month for such a result ...
In such an circumstances, sometimes with anxiety and stress, if we are more sensitive; sometimes with a smile on our faces. The young people who are not afraid of any viruses usually do not believe that the data provided is true. The rainy season has started in December. So it's normal to get cold now. Because of Covid-19 virus, many people want to take a test, the so-called ‘rapid test’ in the hospital. Then usually the results turn out to be positive. And again there is a feeling of insecurity and danger. The people of Flores, however, are quite immune to various types of diseases and viruses. The dengue disease transmitted by mosquitoes, tuberculosis and rabies are still common in this area. However, the sun shines and shares the vitamin D to the Indonesian people here. In this way, the local people deal with the corona virus.
The lecturers started teaching online. They go to empty classrooms with laptops and try to teach philosophy and theology through the Internet. Young students and seminarians even like this, because from young age they are used to keep the mobile phone (smartphone) in their hands. It is a challenge for professors because everything must be prepared to be transmitted online. So, it is necessary to switch from thinking and working in normal conditions to new conditions, which probably also came to the island of Flores for good. Moreover, the masks must be worn everywhere. The ordinary people on the market are still asking whether this Covid-19 virus really exists or not. The reason is that until now, no one explained where this virus came from and whether it was an accident or a planned action. Such doubts also bother our hearts.
Nonetheless, day by day we pray in our seminary chapels. At 5:15 am we start with morning prayers, then the meditation on the Scriptures, and the Eucharist in smaller groups. We have Bible sharing groups too. In free time we take walks with friends and swim in the sea. We try to live a normal life, although the conditions are different from normal. We trust that above all, God's Providence takes care of the world, and we are in the hands of God. That is why we do not give up but look to the future with hope. In the love of Divine Word: Fr. Józef Trzebuniak, SVD. (https://www.spreaker.com/show/verbum-domini).
Prayers of SVD
May the darkness of sin
and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word
and the Spirit of grace
and may the Heart of Jesus live
in the hearts of all people.
(Saint Arnold Janssen)