I have not seen in Poland so much tired and work-worn women's hands, as here in the eastern part of Indonesia - on Flores island. Every Sunday, while I put the Holy Communion on the hands of adults, I understand how hard Indonesian men and women work using their hands. These hands, during every mass, receive Eucharistic Bread. Jesus is eager to come to these simple and exhausted people in order to strengthen and tell them: "Come to me, all who are burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mat 11:28).
The last Sunday, on 10th of February 2019, I concelebrated the Holy Eucharist in the parish of Kewapante in Maumere, Flores. As usual the chapel was full of people who kindly smiled to me. They asked: Where are you from? and How long will you stay with us in Indonesia? At the end of mass I presented myself in Indonesian and answered: "Saya berasal dari Polandia, jadi saya tidak bisa berbahasa Indonesia dengan baik. Saya lahir di Polandia selatan, dekat kota Santo Paus Yohanes Paulus II yang bernama Wadowice. Ketika saya berumur 19 tahun, saya memasuki novitiat Serikat Sabda Allah. Saya belajar di Seminari Tinggi di Polandia dan ditahbiskan sebagai seorang imam tanggal 21 Mei 2006. Selama dua tahun saya bekerja di paroki dan mengajar di sekolah. Setelah itu saya mulai belajar lagi dan menjadi dosen. Pada bulan November tahun lalu saya datang ke Indonesia untuk mengajar mahasiswa para frater dan suster di Seminari Tinggi di Ledalero. Saya senang bertemu dengan kalian".
In English it means: "I come from Poland, so I do not speak well Indonesian. I was born in the southern part of Poland, near the city of Saint John Paul II, which is called Wadowice. When I was 19 years old, I entered the novitiate of the Society of Divine Word. I studied at a Major Seminary in Poland and was ordained priest on May 21, 2006. I worked at the parish for two years and taught at school. Then I started studying and became lecturer. Last November I flew to Indonesia to teach students, seminarians and sisters in Ledalero. I am pleased to meet you".
The parishioners in Kewapante were very satisfied and welcomed me with applause. After the Eucharist I was invited for a cup of tea and some refreshment to the SSpS sisters who lead the hospital close to the parish. Then, with the SVD fathers had a common meal. Meanwhile, many children and adolescents appeared in the parish house. Although the previous night some streets in the city were flooded, all the people wanted to meet together, praise the Lord and ask for blessing. Thanks to God and their faith, they gain strength for a hard work. Moreover, they do not give up if adversities appear. In the parish community they feel safe and we - priests and missionaries - constantly accompany them and feed them with the Bread of Christ.
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)