Montfort Mission House, Manyurai

Mission House MontfortMenyurai is a new name, previously the house was called Montfort Abbey. The word Menurai describes the area where this house is located, namely Teluk Menurai Street, Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan.

The Need for a House SMM
The shift in leadership of the Sintang Diocese is something that has brought about a change for the parishioners  Montfortian in Sintang Diocese. Before the term of office of Mgr. Isak Doera, Sintang Diocese has been led by Mgr. Lambert van Kessel, SMM and by the Apostolic Administrator Mgr. Lambertus van den Boorn, SMM. During their tenure the entire staff of the Diocese were Montfortans: vicar general, diocesan secretary, education department and finance department. The policy of the Diocese becomes the policy of the Society of Maria Montfortan and vice versa.

The change in leadership is a step toward the independence of the Sintang Diocese, but on the other hand, the existence of SMM becomes unclear. Until that time, the Montfortians had not built a special house for themselves because everything they had built, belonged to the Diocese of Sintang and was shared by non-SMM priests.

Montfort Mission House Construction Plan
On January 17, 1985, the Montfortans held a regional meeting to discuss two important issues, namely the Montfortan Novitiate/Seminary in Bandung and the construction of the Montfort Mission House in Menurai, Sintang. The results of this deliberation supported the start of the Montfortan Novitiate/Seminary in Bandung and the construction of the Montfort Mission House in Menyurai, Sintang.

The construction of the Montfort Mission House in Sintang was only started after the affairs of the novitiate house in Bandung were completed. There was already available land with an area of 1.5 hectares which was purchased at a price of 37 million rupiah. The land is located on the outskirts of Sintang City, namely Menyurai.

In the Dutch Provincial Chapter, Pastor Piet and Pastor Kees also reported that in the meetings the confreres discussed themes related to the development of religious life, the formation of the SMM, and about the new Montfort Mission House in Sintang. The chapter participants supported the plans of the Indonesian Region in terms of Montfort-style categorical pastoral through Montfort's way, the formation of Montfortan Indonesia, and the construction of the Montfort monastery in Menyurai Sintang.

Montfort Mission House, Manyurai
When the construction of the Montfort Mission House was nearing completion, Brothers Piet van Hoof and Djamal moved into a new house. At the end of December 1987 Ad Sommers moved into the new convent, followed by Kees Smit and Hub Swerts in early January 1988. Meanwhile, Joep van Lier felt it was easier to stay in the diocesan house due to his new assignment as diocesan economist, replacing Hub Swerts, who was now changing. the task of being the first house superior of this Montfort Manipulating Mission House. After this move, Fr. Regional Kees gathered the community and invited the confreres to make a schedule for living together, when to relax together, when to pray together, when to eat together and when to work. He reminded the confreres that the new home was a convent, a Montfortian community that lived, prayed and worked together in the Montfortan spirituality. Montfort Abbey is not a hotel or lodging place where we eat/drink three times a day. Together they succeeded in putting together a daily schedule that made the Montfort Abbey community a very meaningful community for all members of the region and for the environment, Father Jaak Maessen had not yet moved to the convent because he still occupied the Komsos House on the Durian River. However, the Montfortan community was surprised to hear the news that with the support of the bishop, but without the superior's knowledge, Jaak, who had graduated from a small airplane pilot school, had visited Irian to inquire about matters relating to the procurement of airplanes for the diocese. Jaak's aspiration to get an airplane (such as a Cesna like those owned by Protestants in Klansam), may also be in line with the Sintang Diocese, which is also thinking about an effort to facilitate communication. Hearing this, the SMM Regional Council immediately sought information from religious leaders in Irian Jaya and the Montfortan confreres in Papua New Guinea who had experience in using airplanes. Thus, the regional council has responded to Jaak's ideas, although 56) Quoted from the book “Spirituality of Service”, the result of the 1987 cooperative meeting.

Sibeji Team
The Sibeji Team is a Categorical Pastoral Team formed by the Montfortians to handle the follow-up development of the people that stems from the Montfortian spirit or spirituality, especially in deepening the appreciation of the baptismal promises. This Categorical Pastoral Team was formed based on inspiration from the results of the 1993 General Chapter of the SMM regarding the renewal of the vision and mission of the Maria Montfortian Society which stems from the four pillars of spirituality, namely evangelization, Marian, cooperation (community), and freelancing. Observing the results of the chapter earlier, initially, the Sintang community emphasized forming a traveling team that would serve people from parish to parish without being bound by structure and territory, but still in collaboration with the local parish priest. The traveling team then stayed for some time there to develop mission work and after that would move to another parish. It can be said that the team that will be formed takes the form of activities that have been carried out by Montfort himself during his life in the West of France. However, the traveling team was unable to run because the situation on the ground did not allow it. There were many psychological problems and the unpreparedness of the parishes to work with. The traveling team itself has not been able to formulate a clear program, and the staff of SMM is not ready.

With the formation of the traveling team not possible, in 1998, the regional council began exploring the formation of a new team, namely the Pastoral Category Team. This team will work directly under the auspices of the union. The Council is seriously preparing the staff who will work in this categorical Pastoral Team, namely Father Arifin Dwirahmanto, who was included in the Civita retreat house during his diaconate, Deacon Widyatmoko who has a special talent and love for young people, and Brother Gunarto who has the catechesis education background. The three of them are expected to start pioneering the Menyurai Categorical Pastoral Team. Father Joep van Lier as the leader of the Menyurai community was very helpful in building this team from the very beginning. The team did not yet have a place to hold activities, so they attempted to borrow a plot of land and the diocesan building opposite Montfort’s monastery and then built a building there. The diocese welcomed SMM's proposal to use the building opposite the monastery and Mgr. Agustinus Agus, Pr immediately appointed Father Miau, Pr, the cathedral parish priest at that time, to seek a building permit from the Sintang Regency Government. In the contract with Sintang Diocese, it was agreed that SMM has the right to use the land and buildings on it, the diocese also does not ask for rent, but SMM is responsible for maintaining the existing houses and paying for electricity and water himself. Rehab and repair costs are also the responsibility of SMM.

Since then, the Sibeji Team has been pioneered. The team began contacting parishes, schools, and other institutions to offer programs that the team could assist with. For parishes, packages of marriage preparation courses, Parish Pastoral Council debriefing, youth development, regeneration, and community leaders courses are prepared. For schools, a package of materials for retreats, collections, conferences on gender, and basic level leadership training was prepared. The team is also ready to assist non-ecclesiastical groups. The offer submitted by the Sibeji Team was greeted with quite an enthusiasm, especially by the schools. Some parishes also asked this team to be a facilitator in their meetings. For schools, the team's activities are felt to be very much in line with the curriculum, which restores religious and moral education to the education system. Religious education and character education have indeed been perceived as lessons that seem to be just a mere formality.

Apart from serving the people, this team is also responsible for the further development of the Montfortians who work in the Diocese of Sintang and even West Kalimantan. Every two months they coordinate a meeting of confreres in the field of consecrated life as a Montfortian. They are responsible for preparing meeting materials, setting schedules, and even if necessary finding sources. In addition, they are also responsible for the Student of Pastoral Orientation who works and is placed in communities in Kalimantan. The activities of the Sibeji Ward Team are to assist the Church in general in the formation of other people, confirming the baptismal promises of the people through retreat and recollection services.

Living and working in the Diocese of Sintang brings the Montfortians closer to the people and nature around them. Moved by the love for the environment and the desire to help the Dayak people, during their recreation and gatherings, the confreres often discuss the theme “how to help the villagers oppose the way of working that causes environmental damage caused by the prolonged dry season and under thick smoke from forest fires?” The results of this discussion sparked the interest of Father Jaak Maessen and Brother Piet van Hoof to promote a new agricultural system called Agroforestry, which means living while preserving forests. The forest in question is trees that can provide results such as fruits, rubber, and others. On both sides of the cultivated area, fruit trees are planted. Between the rows of trees, the cultivators cultivate the rice fields. Thus, the cultivated land will not be lost by erosion, besides the tree line will also hold and store rainwater.