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11.07.2024 01:15:23 164x read.
As Useful as Possible (By Theodorus S.,)

As Useful as Possible

On July 2, 1984, I made my first vows with seven other fellow brothers. At that time, the ceremony was simple; it was only held in the community and did not invite family. The event did not give a profound impression. This was the end of the candidate's formation and the beginning of life as an FIC brother. After completing my first degree and serving in several schools, I took my eternal vows with five other brothers on December 8, 1991. Now, there are three of us, namely Br. Antonius Karyadi, Br. Heribertus Iriyanto Mulyono and me. Our motto then was this: “Here am I, Lord, send me”. (Isaiah 6:8)

For 40 years, in addition to being assigned to study philosophy at STF Driyarkara Jakarta and master's at De la Salle University Manila, I was designated by the congregation as a teacher, boarding master, headmaster of junior and secondary schools, teacher at the postulate and novitiate, supervisor and coordinator of the YPL school curriculum, member of the YPL board and Secretary of YPL board. I have initiated the YPL Magazine “Bianglala” publication and established the Pangudi Luhur Credit Union.  Since 2012, the congregation has given its trust to be a member of the General Council of the FIC Congregation. The congregation provides me with many opportunities to learn and develop myself. I also felt trusted by the congregation to be involved in the internal affairs of the Congregation and apostolic work. For all that, I thank God a lot. I, who am nobody, come from a simple family in the village, and I have been allowed to develop myself and be involved in works that are not simple. My favourite text is from John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life in abundance”.

Of course, for 40 years, I have had experiences of ups and downs, successes and failures, and faithfulness and infidelity, but I feel more happiness than hardship. It all happened because of the faithful God and Our Lady, who always prayed and helped me. Also, I am grateful for the help and guidance of leaders, spiritual companions, and groupmates. I believe that 40 years have passed not because of me personally but because of the faithful God, the always protective Mother Mary, and the faithfulness and forgiveness of my fellow brothers. I didn’t think I would get to this point when I said my first vow. I have come to this point only because of God's grace.

I am also grateful that in addition to carrying out the duties of the Congregation, the Congregation also allows me to be involved in other institutions such as the Sanjaya Foundation, which organises the Soegijopranata University of Semarang (secretary), the Catholic Education Council of the Archdiocese of Semarang (Chairman) and the National Assembly of Catholic Education (member), the assistance of diocesan and national Catholic youth, the Semarang Catholic Orphanage Foundation (secretary),  and as a lecturer in Soegijopranata University of Semarang. I always declare that I am an FIC brother when carrying out these duties. This is a way to proclaim the values of FIC and show that the Congregation sent me. These assignments helped me grow and get involved in the church's mission. Thank God that during almost twelve years I stayed in the Netherlands, I published 19 books, 18 by PT. Kanisius, and one by Pohon Cahaya, both in Jogjakarta.

I am aware that I am not intelligent, but I am diligent and strive to complete the task of my mission well. I am also a person who is fearless in failing to try something new and has enough confidence. In terms of spirituality, I live my vocation and mission in a moderate way. The Lord Jesus is my brother, and Mary is my mother, so my prayers are as simple as communicating with my parents and friends. I also feel close to the founders; therefore, I ask for their prayers daily and pray with them for the congregation and myself. I thank the Congregation that allowed me to have an Ignatian Spiritual Course and 30-day retreat in St. Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre, Wales. That taught me how to pray according to my personality and discern God’s will appropriately for my life and apostolic works.

May I experience God's love more and continue receiving His faithfulness in my old age.

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