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04.11.2022 18:32:25 1936x read.
50 Years of life as Brother to people, the Church, and fellow brothers. (Bro. Heribertus Sumarjo)

50 Years of life as Brother to people, the Church, and fellow brothers.

(Bro. Heribertus  Sumarjo)

I am Heribertus Sumarjo. I was born in Bantul-Jogyakarta on April 13, 1951, the seventh child of 11 in the family. I started formation in the FIC Congregation in 1970, made my first vows in 1972, and my final profession in 1979. Thus, in 2022, I will celebrate 50 years of consecrated life in the FIC Congregation. As an active member of the congregation, I have done a number of apostolic works within the Pangudi Luhur Foundation (YPL) from 1972 to 2002, with 8 years as Principal of an Elementary School, 8 years as Head of a Teacher Training College, 3 years as Head of a High School, and 7 years as Head of YPL Head Office. From 2002 to 2011 I served as a missionary outside the FIC Congregation, as Executive Secretary of the Education Commission of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (KWI) and from 2011 until 2021 I worked for the Archdiocese of Jakarta as Chairman of the Education Commission of the Archdiocese of Jakarta, Manager of the Atma Jaya Foundation, Supervisor of Strada Association and Bina Teknik Strada Foundation. These apostolic works are seen as ways of serving my homeland, the Church, and FIC in particular.


Basic Inspiration

What gives me inspiration, courage and motivation for my apostolate include:

1. The belief that my first duty as religious is to demonstrate God’s works through my apostolate;

2. The belief that I can serve my country best with a democratic, inclusive, pluralistic attitude, and uphold human rights;

3. The belief I can serve the Church by proclaiming the Kingdom of God…which is truth, peace, and joy;

4. The belief that I can serve the Congregation best by internalizing the spirituality and charism of FIC, and promote same among others, in my community and our educational institutions;

5. The belief in the good things I have inside me, those given to me by my family and those I acquired through education, making me a hard worker, disciplined, positive, forgiving, independent, active, and responsible.

With these inspirations, I have made myself a messenger for spreading our ideals and a person who is actively involved in social life in my country, for the glory of God. This awareness gives me the willingness to take risks, to be faithful in my responsibilities, to have the courage to speak and defend the truth, and to fight for justice.


Jubilees are one of the best moments for reflection

In December 2022, my classmates, Martinus Tukir Handoko, Romualdus Suyono, Christophorus Sukarman, Thomas Sumaryadi, and Petrus Heru Nugroho and I will celebrate 50 years of consecrated life. This momentous event holds so many messages from our long journey through those years. In 1972, sixteen of us (16) made our first vows. We were steadfast in our intentions and actions to carry out the apostolic work of Christian education and formation for Indonesian youth. Eventually, 14 of us took perpetual vows. I am grateful that after so many years of work, only three (3) brothers have resigned because they were no longer happy with the life, and five (5) have been called to eternity.

We, the class of 1972, hope that the next generation of Brothers will be determined and responsible in keeping the aspirations of the apostolic work of Christian education and development for Indonesian youth relevant, strong and meaningful.


(L-R: Bros. Heribertus and Frans Dwiyatno)

Preserving, Caring for and Developing the Legacy of the Founders

Bro. Bernardus Hoecken determined that the priority of FIC's apostolate was Christian education and formation. He urged the brothers never to neglect the poor. The founders of the FIC congregation were people who were steadfast in their intentions and actions, fascinated by Jesus, and evangelists of the good news. They were believing people, loving, wise, passionate, and steadfast; following a simple lifestyle, gentle, pious, careful, and exemplary (the 10 virtues of Bro. Bernardus Hoecken).

Even though times are constantly changing, the successors, including myself, must be responsible for keeping the legacy of the founders relevant, strong, and meaningful. That is one of the main points of reflection at this moment of celebrating my 50 years of consecrated life, translating the spirit of the founders into this day and age without losing their essence.

In order to maintain and develop the legacy of our founders, I and every member of the YPL community were asked to reflect on the work of Christian education and coaching, with the questions: First, to what extent are we (members of the YPL community) committed to educating the nation, contributing to overcome backwardness in education, and giving our care to the Indonesian people?; Secondly, as an educational institution based on Catholic tradition, to what extent have we understood, lived and applied the Church's Social Teachings, including the values of love, justice, respect for human dignity, shared welfare, democracy, solidarity, and peace?; and Thirdly, to what extent are we committed to the care of the poor according to the founder's original mission, which is to help solve the problem of poverty, especially where it concerns access to education?.

Thus, I and the next generation of brothers and sisters are asked to continuously consolidate and root ourselves in faith, hope, and love so that the ideals of the apostolic work of Christian education and formation remain relevant, strong and meaningful, and are attractive to the people.


Grateful to be sent to work outside the FIC Congregation

From 2002 to 2011, I worked at KWI as Executive Secretary of the Education Commission, with additional duties as Director of KWI, Secretary of OBOR Spiritual Association (PRO), and member of the National Accreditation Board for Madrasah schools. After my work at KWI, from 2011 till 2021, I assumed the duty as Chairman of the Jakarta Archdiocesan Education Commission with additional duties as Manager of Atma Jaya Foundation, Supervisor of Strada Association, and Supervisor of Bina Teknik Strada Foundation.

In August 2021, I retired with gratitude from all that I was able to do. However, I was still asked to become a Supervisor in several foundations, Charitas, Shepherd of the Good, Fatima, Strada, and Bina Teknik Strada, as well as act as coach at the Sandjojo, Unika Soegijapranata foundation.

(Bro, Heribertus on the event of Provincial day)

Now that I am about to celebrate 50 years of consecrated life, I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to God through the Indonesia Provincial Council and all the Brothers for the trust and support given to me in letting me work outside the FIC congregation for the last twenty years. I constantly work to earn that trust by using my responsibilities and freedom suitably, and being actively involved in the life of our people, our country and the church wherever I am sent or assigned.

I have always striven to show a mentality of integrity, professionalism, and vision; firmness in my intentions and actions, someone who is “responsive, tough, skilled, and modern” in facing life's challenges and tasks. I have kept to my principles in carrying out missionary work, willing to learn continuously, service-oriented, positive, trusting, balanced, mission-oriented, synergistic, and always keep myself fit in all physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions.

With that mentality and the capital of 30 years of working experience at YPL, I am grateful and thank God for being His instrument to animate and inspire the education sector of the 37 dioceses for 9 years; serving as PRO management; fostering the Accreditation Board of the Provinces of Papua, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Central Sulawesi, Lampung, and the Special Region of Yogyakarta; and animating and inspiring education in KAJ's (Jakarta Archdiocese), 66 parishes as well as serving the management of several foundations that I have mentioned above.


Jakarta, 3 May 2022

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