On 29 October of this year Fr. Luigi Galvani, the Delegate of Indonesia, gave an official welcome to the twenty new candidates with the handing over to them of the ‘little red cross’ during the celebration of the Eucharist that took place in the chapel of the Camillian ‘Blessed Enrico Rebuschini Seminary of Ruteng on the Island of Flores.
Helped by those providing formation to them, namely Fr. Ignasius Sibar and the cleric Fransiskus Arun, the new candidates are taking part in the annual programme of spiritual and academic formation in preparation for their philosophical and theological studies of the next year at the great Seminary of the Verbites in Ledalero, Maumere, which has more than a thousand students.
The new aspirants come from various villages on the Island of Flores and the Island of Timor, the most Catholic of the 17 thousand islands of the archipelago of Indonesia. These islands are still seen as ‘fertile terrain’ for religious and missionary vocations. Indeed, about a hundred religious institutes and diocesan seminaries are present on these islands for vocational purposes.
After about ten years of being present in Indonesia, the Camillians have three houses for formation: the first is in Ruteng with 20 young aspirants and the other two are in Maumere with 37 philosophy students, 12 professed studying theology and 6 novices.
There was also the recent opening of a social centre for young students in the city of Maumere at which are also offered courses in English, computers and pastoral animation. A similar centre is currently being organised in the city of Kupang on the Island of Timor.
In recent months the Camillians demonstrated their social engagement and missionary courage in bringing emergency aid to the populations of the Island of Lombok and the Island of Sulawesi which had been tragically hit by the strong tremors of the earthquake.
Their presence and their missionary courage certainly bear witness to the fact that they have become another ‘hundred arms’ of charity which Saint Camillus wanted his religious to be in various countries of the world.