History of SMM Formation in Indonesia
Montfortian of Indonesia and the First Effort to Open a Novitiate
After decades of working for Montfortians in Kalimantan, several young men began to express their intention to become Montfortians. Thus the regional deliberations also discussed the education of the native Montfortian candidates. The facts show that in the past ten years (1965–1975), SMM has increased by 12 young missionaries (10 priests and 2 brothers), but on the contrary, in the same period, several pioneer missionaries have also left Indonesia. Based on this fact, the leaders of the deliberations asked several questions: What about the future of AMQAH in Indonesia? Do we maintain the principle that candidates must first become Diocese priests before applying to become Montfortian? Shouldn't we think of a Montfortian coaching house in Malang or Bandung? If we choose Bandung, will we open a house of education together with the of Diocese Sintang? Is there anyone among us who is capable of mentoring the candidates?
With the approval of the idea to open the formation of the native Montfortian candidate, the Region of Indonesia stepped on a historic point that determined the future of SMM in Indonesia. We must admit that until then, the SMM had not done much to promote the native Montfortian vocation, and even until 1978 the missionaries had not accepted new Indonesian members. Some think that SMM did not come to Indonesia to seek followers, but to help establish a local church, but if someone insists on joining the SMM, then he must attend education until he becomes a Diocese priest, then only his qualifications to become Montfortian will be determined. observed first. Some worry that the native Montfortians will not grow to be big and will only become a small group walking alone with no one to support them. The views of these missionaries cannot be separated from the situation and conditions at certain times in the history of the mission, the vast and difficult-to-reach areas, the number of personnel that has never reached the expected number, the generation of pioneers who are getting older and the candidates for priests are very few.
Starting the Novitiate
After Aloisius Djamal was judged appropriate to start his novitiate, finally on November 14, 1979, Regional Father. Lam van den Boom wrote a letter to Father. Hub Somers and another to Father. Gen. Gendrot asked for permission to open a novitiate in Putussibau and to appoint Wim Peeters to become his master. Father Gendrot's reply letter, November 26, 1979, apparently allowed Father Lam to open a novitiate on December 8, 1979, at the Putussibau rectory. Meanwhile, in a letter on November 28, 1979, the provincial priest conveyed the decision that with the approval of the general and his council, he appointed Father Wim Peeters as a master novice and Father Janus van der Vleuten as socius. This is the first Montfortian formation team in Indonesia. On December 8, 1979, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the newly founded novitiate was officially opened. Meanwhile, the novitiate year of Aloisius Djamal was only officially declared to begin on February 2, 1980, when he received his robe. (He completed his novitiate on March 25, 1981, and made his first vows in the Society of Maria Montfortian. Brother Djamal was the only novice who carried out his novitiate in Putussibau.) At first, the magister and socius were still pastoral officers at Putussibau Parish. The new master's assignment became full-time when the number of candidates increased and the postulate/novitiate house had been moved from Putussibau to Sungai Durian in Sintang in 1983, which was about 3 or 4 years after its inauguration.
Novitiate and Handling of New Candidates
The process of moving the novitiate from Putussibau to Sintang in 1983, as previously mentioned, was also driven by the increase in Montfortian candidates including 3 teachers by profession and also a priest, namely Father Mateus Rampai, Pr who at that time was still studying. liturgy in Rome, but intends to be Montfortian. That's why on November 1, 1982, the regional council gathered again in Sintang and discussed the purchase of a house behind the Sungai Durian rectory, Sintang. The small and simple house will be adapted for the activities of the priest magister with his two novices, although it is not yet clear whether the house is adequate for a novitiate if there is an increase in the number of priest candidates. However, the council decided to temporarily turn this humble house into a novitiate with a note that if the number of novices increased, it would be considered again to build a new novitiate building. Indeed, it seems that Sintang is more appropriate than Putussibau because Sintang has PGAK and there are more Montforts there. A coaching house in Sintang will provide an opportunity to get to know the candidates better and to live and pray together under the guidance of Father Wim Peeters.
SMM Novitiate in Bandung
This good news was received right at the opening of the regional meeting on January 17, 1985, the regional meeting which discussed two main issues, namely the Montfortian Novitiate/Seminary in Bandung and the construction of the Montfort Monastery in Menyurai, Sintang.
It turned out that the Dutch Provincial Council gave a positive reaction. This signaled the green light for the start of the July 1985 novitiate in Bandung. To move the novitiate from Sintang to Bandung, Regional Father Kees Smit also, on March 2, 1985, asked Father General Gerard Lemire for permission. After Father Kees received written permission from the Father general through his letter dated April 11, 1985, Fr. Piet Derckx was immediately assigned to find a suitable house to become the Montfortian Novitiate in Bandung.
Fr. Piet was moving, he kept glaring at newspaper advertisements and for a month or two Piet went around Bandung looking and looking. After almost giving up, suddenly he was offered Gunung Kencana Street, a family house with an additional eight rooms which had been used as a boarding house for Parahyangan Catholic University students.
The Dutch province immediately transferred the money to buy both the house and the land next door. During that time the land next to the house was used as a trash can and a place for exercise by the surrounding environment. Therefore, to avoid unwanted things from happening to the neighbors, an agreement was made with the old owner of the land so that before the time of surrender he would first clean the land and build a wall around it. And finally…everything was done in time!!
After returning from his leave in the Netherlands, Father Wim officially started the coaching period for the Montfortian candidates in Bandung at the end of July. Every Monday and Tuesday five novices take part in the Spiritual Year lesson with the candidates for Diocese and Novice of OSC at Nias Street Nu. 2 Bandung. Meanwhile, two people, namely Maryos and Ain, immediately became students of the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at Parahyangan University and studied in the same building on Nias 2 Street.
Montfort Seminary in Sukasenang
The novitiate house in Gunung Kencana has been running for three years. Soon the second generation will finish their novitiate and take their monastic vows. Given the increasing number of novices and the inadequacy of placing novices and scholastics under the same roof, a new house inevitably had to be erected.
In early 1988 someone offered a house at the corner of Jalan Sukasenang I and Jalan Sukasenang III. The house was eventually purchased with financial assistance from the Dutch Province. The house stands on a land area of 580 m² with a building area of 470 m2, located in East Bandung, Santo Odilia Parish area, Cicadas Bandung, precisely on Jalan Sukasenang I/7 with postal code 40124. This new house has been without occupants for more than a year so needs to be repaired. After being repaired, the whole house was made up of one guest room, one library room, one dining room, and 9 bedrooms.
In August 1988 this house was only occupied by 6 people, namely: Father Piet Derckx as rector, Brother Stepanus Maryos class of 1985 (semester 7) who was undergoing SOP (Pastoral Orientation Semester) in Sintang, two brothers in the fifth semester, namely Fransiskus Ngadilan and Vincentius Riyanto, who were catechists at Sintang Diocese, while the next generation of brothers are Ignatius Widodo, a former teacher at Panca Setya High School and Vincentius Haryanto.
House Blessing and Pronunciation of Vows
On August 15, 1988, the Montfort Seminary was officially opened with a house blessing, followed by the ceremony of taking the first vows of Ignatius Widodo and Vincentius Haryanto as well as the re-voting of Brothers Riyanto and Fransiskus Ngadilan. According to the plan, Brother Stepanus Maryos would also make his vows in Bandung, but because he was carrying out the duties of the SOP, the renewal of his vows was carried out in Sintang.
The house inauguration ceremony and the proclamation of vows received considerable attention from various levels of the Church community. Approximately 160 people attended the event, filling the chapel, dining room, library room, and living room. Such conditions do not allow everyone to get very limited available seats. Although the ceremony almost coincided with the ordination of a priest in the diocese of Bandung Diocese, Mgr. Alexander Djajasiswaya, Pr, and several priests who attended the dedication ceremony still found time to attend the Montfort Seminary blessing ceremony and feast as well as the proclamation of the vows of our four brothers. Several nuns from various unions and orders domiciled in Bandung, along with people from the Sukasenang and Ciumbuleuit, mostly attended the entire event.
Scholasticate and Novitiate in Bandung
After the final semester exams, June 23-26, 1990, the residents of the Montfort Seminary in Sukasenang moved to a new house located near the International School, Surya Sumantri Street Nu. 83, Bandung 40164. After the relocation was settled, the scholastics were allowed to visit their hometown and family. It was fairly early that the SMM house, which had just been vacated and abandoned, found a buyer, who was none other than Mr. Dede, who was still a neighbor there as well, namely residents of Sukasenang III. Mr. Dede turned the house into a shophouse for the cloth trade. In accordance with the agreement, the proceeds from the sale of the Scholastic house in Sukasenang were used as capital to finance the formation of the young Montfortians.
Since July 1990, the new Montfort Seminary building in Surya Sumantri, which will be used as a scholasticate, has been inhabited by three groups of Montfortian candidates, namely the scholastic brothers, novices, and postulants of the brothers. The house was spacious enough to accommodate all of them including the builder. The novices were able to occupy the new house because the novitiate's house in Gunung Kencana was being expanded so that for the time being the novices stayed at the scholasticate. The number of novices for the academic year 1990/1991 was quite encouraging, namely 18 people, consisting of 12 novices for the first year and 6 novices for the second year. In addition, 4 postulant brothers are carrying out their postulates under the leadership of Father Piet Derckx in the scholasticate.
One of the questions that are often heard is: “Where and how did you get so many candidates?” Some of the Montfortian candidates came from Kalimantan, from where the Montfortians worked, some from Flores, and some from Java. Each island has its own culture and customs, which makes SMM get candidates from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Father Kees Smit recruited in Kalimantan, Father Wim Peeters recruited in Java and Flores. They recruit using their own methods. In Flores, SMM has contacts, with whom we can keep in touch regularly, and once a year Father Piet Derckx or another confrere will meet these contacts and go around visiting other places there. Traveling around Flores is tiring but also very interesting. About two or three weeks are required among others to visit seminaries, and schools, and meet with liaisons and candidates who have applied to become Montfortian.
The second question that often arises is: "How is education and coaching in the novitiate?" Novices receive religious lessons, scriptures, spirituality, prayer, etc. from the Spiritual Year teaching team: OSC, SMM, OSU, and Diocese. Two to four days a week the novices cycle to the city for lessons with the Brothers of the Holy Cross, Diocese, and the Ursuline Sisters on Nias Street. Sometimes they also run social projects and go into the community to learn to get along with the poor and the poor. At the end of the Spiritual Year, for two weeks the brothers were assigned to work as construction workers in Jakarta. They had to live together and like the coolies, they lived off what they received as a salary. Apart from these teachings/training (which are received outside the home), the novices also receive lessons and coaching at the home of Father Wim Peeters who is assisted by the collaborators for guidance from the scholastic. The lessons and guidance provided are aimed at helping novices become Montfortian monks who live, pray and work together in following the spirit of Saint Montfort.
Displacement Novitiate from Bandung to Ruteng
In April 2001 began to build the Montfortian Novitiate complex in Langgo, Carep, Langke Rembong District, Ruteng. In a meeting on May 14-16 2001 in Bandung, the delegation council discussed the period of moving the novitiate from Bandung to Ruteng. In connection with the completion of the construction of the novitiate building (estimated in 2002).
To move the novitiate to Ruteng, many things must be done. Not everyone has the same talent, thankfully, because if so then many things would have been forgotten. Fr. Wim prepared things such as mass books, incense sticks, and everything related to liturgical instruments. Father Socius saw that everything was going well. The confreres from the regional house also took care of the rest. And it should not be forgotten that thanks to the support and assistance of sponsors, the novitiate was able to send apart library books, bicycles, and so on, as well as inventory for 50 rooms in the form of curtains, windows, bed linen, pillowcases, blankets. After everything was well packed, two large trucks full of goods were sent to Flores. Delivery of goods went smoothly.
Displacement Scholastic from Bandung to Malang
Officially, June 4, 2005, was the time when the formation house, which is located at Jalan Surya Sumantri 83, had to be abandoned by its residents, which consisted of 18 brothers, 2 formators, and 2 employees. After the final semester exams, the residents of Montfort Seminary began to clean up. Housekeeping this time aims to leave this house for good.
During 23-29 May, the frequency of transportation and delivery of goods increased. The house was quickly becoming empty, and the May 29 mass at the Montfort Seminary chapel was already the last weekly mass. Many people attended and it could be said that the carpet had suddenly functioned more as a seat because in addition to the number of people who was much larger than usual, also because many chairs had been transported to Malang. Two days after the last mass, the time came for the brothers from the 2003 class to leave their homes and go to Malang.
With the transfer from Bandung and the inauguration of the scholasticate in Malang, the SMM delegation closed a chapter and started a new chapter. Bishop Pandoyoputro said at the time of the blessing, “It is hoped that the Montfort Seminary Building will not only be beautiful in terms of its outward appearance but also become a contribution to spiritual wealth, especially for the people around it and the Malang Diocese Church. The influence that flows from the SMM has been felt by the people in the Diocese of Malang, especially through the spiritual association of the Legion of Mary. It is not the building of stone that will determine, but the multiplicity of the spiritual influence it brings. The Montfort Seminary called 'The Cottage of Wisdom' refers to God's work in the minds, hearts, and souls of all its inhabitants and affects the people it will serve through pastoral work if there is an opportunity to meet in it … We believe that the SMM has a system and spirituality capable of equipping, preparing qualified candidates for priests who are ready to take on the role of envoys for the work of saving souls.”
The idea of establishing a formation house for the SMM Indonesia Aspirants was getting stronger, when SMM Indonesia through its Councils discussed and decided to immediately start it and the SMM Novitiate Community, Ruteng was given ample space to think about, discuss and begin to draft a program for the development of prospective Aspirants. In addition, they were also given the trust to start looking for a rented house that would later serve as the first SMM Indonesia Aspirant Formation House. Father. Stef, Father. Anton, Father Marsel, Father. Fidel, Father. Borgias began to think hard to make this happen. After considering various aspects regarding the selection of houses and their locations, Father Marsel, as the Economist of the Novitiate Community, is assisted by Father. Fidel (postulant assistant) jointly searched and sold the houses to be leased. Several houses were targeted, and finally, only one was obtained and it was sufficient to fulfill the wishes, aspirations, and or hopes of the novitiate formators. After the rented house was agreed to be used as the House of Aspirants (Mr. Valentinus Gara's house), the novitiate formators began to sit together again to draft the SMM Aspirant coaching program. The thing that is being done here is that they together discuss the vision and mission of the Aspiran community and some of the daily rules of life in it.
After the vision mission and draft of Aspirant, development was formulated, Father. Fidel, who was entrusted as the animator of the Flores Region's call, slowly began to recruit the first batch of Aspiran candidates. His efforts and hard work were not in vain, from the twenty candidates who registered 13 candidates were definitively decided to be accepted into the Aspirant Community. The thirteen youths came from several regions or regions with different cultural backgrounds. They were then officially accepted on July 6, 2014, by Father. Fidel, SMM had been entrusted by Father. Provincial as Community Leader (Rektor Domus).