Ten new priests ordained in Pineleng despite COVID-19

Unlike previous years in which priestly ordinations attracted thousands of parishioners and dozens of family members, only a selected few attended the event .

Aug 01, 2020

By Mathias Hariyadi
Priestly ordinations in different places in various dioceses has become an annual event in Indonesia, usually between July and September of each year, when one school year ends and before the next one starts.

This year however, because of the coronavirus epidemic across the country, annual priestly ordinations in Java were rescheduled, from July-August to November or December.

“It all depends on how the situation actually develops. But we have our plan, which is set for 3 December,” said Fr Bambang Sipayung SJ, deputy director of the Indonesian Jesuit Province, speaking to AsiaNews.

"Our plan is for 19 August (if there is no further outbreak)," Mgr Robertus Rubiyatmoko told AsiaNews, adding that any assessment of the current situation will influence the final decision.

"We have cancelled our programme and have not yet decided on a new date,” noted Fr Purwanto SCJ, rector of the Sacred Heart Major Seminary of Yogyakarta.

Likewise, "We have no plans this year," said Fr Widiatmoko, the rector of the Oblate Mary Immaculate Major Seminary in Yogyakarta.

But in Pineleng, Manado, North Sulawesi province, a priestly ordination did take place yesterday at the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) Major Seminary with few participants and strictly adhering to COVID-19 restrictions.

Unlike past years when priestly ordination ceremonies attracted thousands of parishioners and dozens of family members, only a "selected" few attended yesterday's event.

The ten new priests were ordained at the MSC major seminary church in the Diocese of Manado by Mgr Benedictus Estephanus Rolly Untu MSC together with the local superiors, from the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) Major Seminary and the major seminary of the Diocese of Manado. Of the ten priests ordained, four are from MSC and six from Manado.

During the ritual procession, Bishop Untu and two rectors wore face covering in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions. The ten deacons also wear masks and face shields.

The highlight of the liturgy of priestly ordination – the laying of the hands by the bishop on the future priest or bishop – was done from a certain physical distance in which the hands of the bishop could not touch the forehead of the deacons.

As per tradition after priestly ordinations, the bishop or the head of the religious order publicly announced the first pastoral assignments of the newly ordained priests.

1. Fr Augustinus Budiman MSC will be assigned to the Archdiocese of Merauke in Papua.

2. Fr Andreas Buarlele MSC will be assigned to the Diocese of Amboina.

3. Fr Novri Dien MSC to the Diocese of Makassar.

4. Fr Wensislaus Batbual MSC to the Diocese of Manado.

5. Father Koresta Rian Lila PR will be parish priest at Mary Queen of Peace in Melonguane, Diocese of Manado.

6. Fr Jerry Torebellaz PR will be parish priest at the Sacred Heart of Tomohon, Diocese of Manado.

7. Fr Jufry A. Dotulong PR will be parish priest of St Thomas in Buol, Central Sulawesi.

8. Fr Malvin Karundeng PR will be parish priest at St John the Apostle in Tahuna, Sangihe Islands, Diocese of Manado.

9. Fr Made Pantyasa PR will be parish priest of St Joseph Parish Church in Manado and assigned to the Social communications Commission of the Diocese of Manado.

10. Fr Wayan Sugiarta PR will go to the Socio-Economic Commission of the Diocese of Manado in Lotta, Pineleng.––Asia News

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