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21.07.2023 14:39:46 344x read.
Congregational Conference 2023, Indonesia (taken from IGC 3(June) 2023)

Report Congregational Conference 2023, Indonesia 

“The call to the task of “Authority and Governance” is a call to serve others. Our constitution (art. 49) acknowledges the need for leadership in the congregation.
However, we are given the mandate by our fellow brothers to lead them in the Spirit of Jesus, who said of himself that he had not come ‘to be served, but to serve’ (Matthew 20:28.) ... We have accepted this call to grow in our knowledge and love of God and to support also a communal and personal growth of our fellow Brothers.” These were some of the words of the General Superior, Bro. Augustine Kubdaar, during the Eucharistic celebration that officially opened the Congregational Conference in Roncalli Retreat House, Indonesia, on 12 June 2023. Many of our fellow brothers from nearby communities attended the opening of the conference which was intended to last 12 days. Earlier, the provincial superior of the host province, Bro. Fransiscus Dwiyatno welcomed the participants, who are mainly the Provincial Superiors, Superior of the RHN, and members of the General Council. Together with two secretaries, the participants numbered eleven (11). 

The General superior also outlined the structure of the conference, placing its focus on the 2018 General Chapter resolutions. However, as leaders, we needed to once more remind ourselves of our call to leadership. Thus, after the official opening, we had a day of recollection on the theme “Leadership as a call”. This was facilitated by the immediate past General superior, Bro. Martinus Handoko. Following this was an input on a very relevant and topical issue in society and the church today: how social media influences the ideals of the document "The Gift of Fidelity and the Joy of Perseverance", and especially on the youth and their interest in Religious Life. These adequately prepared participants for the business ahead. 

Following these two days of reflection and discussion were the presentation and discussion of the annual reports of our provinces, the RHN and the General Council. These were combined with discussions on the implementation of the chapter resolutions. Customarily, during such conferences, our leaders also get to know the financial situation of the Congregation, and how the General Council is managing the finances. This was presented by Bro. Remy Nyukorong the General Treasurer of the congregation.

As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, participants had the privilege of visiting two tourist attractions in the region of Yogyakarta. We left Roncalli Retreat House, the conference centre at 8 a.m. on Saturday 17 June, in the Van Lith school bus and meandered through the mountains through Magelang, Muntilan, and finally arrived at the Kaliurang hills, a journey of about two and a half hours. These hills are located about 25 kilometres north of Yogyakarta city. Here we visited the Ullen Sentalu Museum, a Javanese cultural and art centre. The museum displays relics and artifacts from the royal houses and palaces of Java, such as Yogyakarta, Pakualam, Surakarta, and Mangkunegara.


After the 45 minutes’ tour, we had a break for lunch before descending the hills to the second tourist attraction, Omah Petruk, a Cultural House located in Hargobinangun Sleman, on the slopes of Mount Merapi. Interestingly, the founder of this attraction is an Indonesian Catholic priest. Omah Petruk has a large yard with various kinds of sculptures symbolizing a wide range of cultural and religious practices and beliefs. The symbolism of these statues shows the tolerance of religion and culture of the Indonesian people. 

The outing provided enough refreshment for the participants as it enabled them to embark on the second half of the journey with renewed energy. 

The second week went very fast. A significant feature of this conference was that our fellow brothers, who are not part of this group, were invited to give input. This was a significant initiative by the GC which enriched the content and gave a different flavour to the Conference. It is also a tradition that the GC holds meetings with Provincial Superiors during every ConCon to discuss matters pertaining to their particular provinces. We kept the tradition. One thing that gives flavour and fervour to our brotherhood is the informal interaction during Congregational Conferences. This time was not different. 

These interactions took different forms, especially with our fellow brothers in Indonesia who came to support us during the opening and closing of the conference.

As participants, none of us will doubt the success of this conference, as evidenced during the evaluation and the number of resolutions that resulted thereafter. In the words of the General superior during his closing address, “The benefits and outcomes of the Conference will outlast expectations; they will influence the lives of our fellow brothers, our associates and collaborators. Hopefully, they will contribute to the building of God's kingdom.” 

Having reaped so many fruits in the conference, it is incumbent on us to share with our fellow brothers in the host province. Thus, the province organized an open day on 24 June which provided the opportunity for this sharing. The superiors of the provinces/RHN, as has always been the custom, gave a brief report each on the provinces under their control. Finally, we concluded this two-week congregational gathering with the Eucharist which is the highest form of prayer, to thank God for His guidance during the conference and the fruits gathered. 

Bro. Raphael Besigrinee 


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