On Flores Island in the eastern part of Indonesia, the Catholic Church develops rapidly. The Missionaries of Society of Divine Word organized diocesan structures here and built schools, hospitals, roads, churches, minor and major seminaries. Until now, all the clergy from the island of Flores and the surrounding islands such as Timor, Lembata, Sumba are educated in the missionary heart of the island, that is in the Major Seminary of Saint Paul in Ledalero near Maumere. After SVDs, other congregations and orders from all over the world came to Flores in order to search for the new vocations and candidates for the religious order. For example, in only one diocese Maumere there are: SSpS, SSpSAP, SFSC, SPC, SJD, CIJ, SCMM, Scalabrinian, RSCJ, PIJ, OCarm, JMJ, FCJM, CMF, etc.
The Catholic Church is still young here. Not only all parishes are full of children and youth, but also all institutes and religious congregations. All seminaries have dozens of vocations each year. When you visit the convents of sisters, you can see many young girls who want to devote their lives to God. It is similar in male orders. The level of education of sisters, seminarians and religious brothers is also very high. Sisters are able to speak fluently such languages as English and Italian, because usually their religious formation takes place in Europe or in the Philippines. Of course, it can be presumed that such institutions give the young and poor people a chance for a good education and going abroad. However, it is certainly not the only reason which makes them enter convents. Most of them really want to offer their lives to God and serve others. During conversations with sisters and brothers, you can hear their testimonies about choosing the consecrated life.
Every day, hundreds of young people come and study philosophy and theology at the seminary in Ledalero. It includes not only diocesan and religious seminarians, but also sisters and lay people who want to get bachelor's or master's degree. This year Institute in Ledalero (STFK - Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Katolik) celebrates the 50th anniversary. For that reason in every parish on the Flores island there are now new priests who have been educated in Ledalero. Therefore, the Society of Divine Word can boast about the rich history and many fruits of hundreds of confreres who were missionaries in Flores. It is evident that the systematic work and dedication of life to the service of the Church brings good results. Consequently, young people still want to imitate those who brought Christianity and education to Indonesia.
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)