Marian Seminar with Fr. Rafael Lepen, SMM

Monterado, March 24-25, 2022.

One of the agenda of the Parish of St. Montfort in filling the Asia-Oceanian Mission Year is to introduce Our Lady in the Work of Salvation to the parishioners of Monterado. The background for choosing this theme was actually born from the request of the people themselves. They often complain to us about the classic question from the brethren of the separate Churches about why Catholics should honor the Virgin Mary and say the Rosary. Thanks to Divine Providence, the answer to the people's complaints were answered at the opening of the mission year at the Deo Soli Mission House on January 31 last. When the mission animation team asked what activities could be done at the Monterado Parish to fill the year of the Asia-Oceania Mission, the Monterado pastoral team offered to talk about Our Lady in the system of salvation and the date chosen was March 25 to coincide with the Solemnity of the Annunciation. In choosing a speaker, I contacted the Parish Priest via WA, and at that moment he asked Pastor Rafael Lepen, SMM to be the speaker. It is important to remember that this activity carried out by the Parish of Monterado fulfills one of the important points of this mission year, namely: “Promoting True Consecration to Mary”.


Seminar with Young Catholics (OMK)

Pastor Rafael with Br. Niko arrived at the Monterado rectory on March 23. There is no special custom pick-up. They were greeted by community members, Pastor Stef and Pastor Hiro, with a group lunch. The next day, on March 24, a seminar with OMK was held starting at 18.00 WIB. The theme proposed by P. Rafael as a speaker was, “The Virgin Mary: An Example of Young Leaders”. Four main points were proposed by the speaker to OMK Monterado in imitating Mary, namely: At a young age she surrendered herself to God, Mary accepted extraordinary challenges, Mary was not selfish and not big-headed, and Mary conveyed the right message.

OMK who attended with great enthusiasm the seminar process which was held today. This can be seen in the dynamics of the seminar which is very interactive. The young colleagues who were present gave extraordinary questions in response to the material given by P. Rafael. There were 60 participants who attended this activity. This seminar activity ended at 20.30 WIB. The activity was followed by dinner together. At the same time as this activity, an evaluation of the implementation of the Youth Eucharist which was held on 28 February was also held. The atmosphere of brotherhood and kinship is very visible in OMK children during seminars and hospitality activities.


Seminar with the People

In accordance with the schedule that had been made, on March 25 a seminar was held with the people. Pastor Rafael proposed the theme “Mary and Consecration according to Montfort” to the Monterado parishioners who attended this activity. He is extraordinary in thoroughly discussing this theme, specifically regarding Mary as seen from the point of view of Mary in the Scriptures, Mary's relationship with the Triune God, Mary's relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit, and her dedication to Jesus through Mary according to the teachings of St. Montfort.

There were nearly 200 people who attended this event. They were very enthusiastic and enjoyed the continuity of the seminar process. Their participation in asking questions and building an atmosphere of dialogue with the presenters made the dynamics of the seminar very lively. It is interesting that the people who attended this activity took very high attention and were calm. Apart from being motivated by their struggles as mentioned in the background of choosing this theme, their high concentration was also born from the way the speaker presented the material very well and interestingly. This Marian seminar was finished at 18.55 WIB. The activity continued with the Mass of the Annunciation and dinner together. The Mass was led directly by Fr. Rafael as the main celebrant with Fr. Stef as the concelebrant.

St. Parish Pastoral Team Montfort Monterado is very grateful and grateful to P. Rafael and Br. Niko has been pleased to attend this Marian seminar. One of the people's struggles was answered by this activity. The reason is that there will be many interlocutors in explaining and answering the problems they face in relation to the importance of praying the rosary and the position and role of the Virgin Mary in the order and plan of God's salvation.