Camillian Ministry in Flores, Indonesia

The Office for Communications thanks Fr Andi Cyrelus Suparman for the important testimony that he wanted to share with all of us. We wish him and the community of Flores a constant and glorious following of Christ in line with the example of St. Camillus in daily service for the cause of the sick and the poor.

    Vince is one of the mental patients that our Camillian Seminary of Maumere, located on the Island of Flores, Indonesia, takes care of. Recently we discovered in our area various patients with mental illnesses who were in chains because of the fact that they had become a danger to their family relatives and neighbours. Many people were afraid of them and for this reason the ‘best medicine that was advised’ was to tie them up; this assured greater security and protection, not least because a mental hospital does not exist here.

Vince was isolated and kept in chains for about twenty years. Thanks to the generosity of some benefactors we were able to build a little house of a completely special kind for him with basic services. We thus freed him from that terrible prison. The moments of his liberation were touching, above all when he and his new home were blessed by us.

For the future we have a programme for the construction of other little houses (3 x 4 square metres) for these kinds of patients so as to give them an opportunity to live inside with more dignity and humanity. These little houses are built on a brick foundation and have walls and a roof made out of metal. In addition, they are covered with bamboo. Each little house has a toilet, a bed, a little table, a chair, blankets and other useful things.

The families of these patients will take care of their daily needs and will give them food, water, medicines, etc., while we, with our seminarians, will offer pastoral and psychological care and visit them periodically.

So far eleven homes have been built and we are planning to build another ten with the help of generous benefactors, given that we have received a good number of requests from other areas, far from the island as well.

Thank you and our best greetings