On November 29th, 1983, the Province of St. Michael the Archangel was inaugurated by Br. John Vaughn OFM as Minister General at the time, and Br. Michael Cosmas Angkur OFM was the first Provincial Minister. Today, on November 29th, 2023, the Friars Minor of the Province of St. Michael the Archangel Indonesia celebrated 40 years of the founding of the Province, and also 800 years of the Rule and 800 years of Christmas at Greccio as well. The whole series of thanksgiving celebrations was framed in the theme: "Back to the Original Spirit: Incarnating the Gospel in Indonesia and East Timor."
Online celebration as an invitation to living the evangelical values. On Wednesday, February 15th, 2023, was the beginning of the commemoration of the three historical events presided virtually by minister provincial, Br. Mikael Peruhe OFM. More than 250 Franciscan friars belonged to the Province of St. Michael the Archangel, in Indonesia and in the Foundation of St. Anthony the Lisboa-East Timor, were participated. At this moment, Br. Agustinus Laurentius Nggame OFM, the Chairman of the Provincial Council for Evangelization and Spirituality appealed to explain the various activities during the year 2023 on how to celebrate specially the 40th anniversary of the Province at personal, communal and fraternal, and provincial level.
Several visits and safari around Jakarta from September to December 2023. On September 2nd-3rd 2023, the Friars Minor in Jakarta, Depok and Puncak organized a visit like a short pilgrimage to remember the first mission of the earliest five Franciscan missionaries from the Dutch Province of the Martyrs of Gorcum, each of the five names are: Br. Victorius Beekman OFM, Br. Floribertus Schneiders OFM, Br. Azarius de Kok OFM, Br. Paskalis Heitkönig OFM, and Br. Michael Lunter OFM. Three different places were considered having historical values namely: Tanjung Priok Harbor, the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese of Jakarta, and Kampung Sawah Parish where the Friars Minor served between 1930-1941 and took over later by Jesuits.
Moment of reflection on the Rule and Greccio. On September 14th-17th 2023, the Friars Minor organized a reflective activity addressed to brothers and sisters as the members of Franciscan family, especially for those whose have had their Solemn Professed Under Ten years. This moment of reflection was held at Wisma Cannosa-Bintaro, South Tangerang, attended by forty-two participants consists of representatives from OFM, OFMCap, OFMConv, OSF of Sibolga, OSF of Semarang, SFS, KFS, KSFL, FSE, FCh, SFD, FCJM, and SMFA. These brothers and sisters were asking to reflect on how to implement the Rule and the Greccio’ message in their own daily life today.
Theater and Seminar
A theatrical performance entitled "Rigged by Time" was held on 18 November at Vincentius Putra Ballroom, Kramat, Jakarta. The theater was organized in a wonderful collaboration between young Franciscan of the Province, Franciscan Youth from the Parishes under the Friars Minor's serve (the Kramat Parish, the Paskalis Parish, and the Depok Parish), and the children of the orphanages from St. Vincent, Jakarta and St. Joseph, Sindanglaya in where Franciscans present.
Then, on 28 November 2023, in the same place, a seminar was held entitled "Back to the Original Spirit: Incarnating the Gospel in Franciscan’s Life and Work." The seminar, which involved the Franciscan Family in the Archdiocese of Jakarta and the Diocese of Bogor as well as the people, presented two speakers, namely Br. Antonius Eddy Kristiyanto, OFM (a Franciscan who is a professor of Church History) and Fr. Benedictus Hari Juliawan, SJ (Provincial of the Jesuit in Indonesia and Lecturer at Sanata Dharma University). At the same time, a book which is a anthology, entitled "Revitalizing Franciscan Life" was launched. The purpose of the book is to reflect together on the 40th anniversary of the Indonesian Province of St. Michael the Archangel, the 800th anniversary of the Rule, and the 800th anniversary of Christmas in Greccio.
The culmination of the whole series of all the activities was the Eucharistic Celebration led by the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Jakarta, Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo. He was accompanied by Br. Mikael Peruhe OFM (Provincial Minister), Br. Daniel Klau Nahak OFM (Provincial Vicar), Fr. Benedictus Hari Juliawan SJ (Provincial of the Jesuit in Indonesia), Br. Agustinus L. Nggame OFM, and Deacon Yohanes Wahyu Prasetyo OFM at the Vincentius Putra Ballroom, Kramat on Wednesday, 29 November 2023.
In the opening words of the Eucharistic Celebration, the Provincial Minister, Br. Mikael Peruhe OFM, said that, "These celebrations of gratitude carried out by the Friars Minor during 2023 are a reflection for the Friars Minor to reaffirm the centrality of the Gospel in our life and work as the followers of St. Francis of Assisi, as we have also promised to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord, Jesus Christ." Later, Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, in his sermon, explained the reality of today’s world, where there are many inequalities and said: "Back to the Original Spirit: Incarnating the Gospel, is one of the ways that needs to be done to respond the reality of the world." The Cardinal added, "The Original Spirit, which is interestingly formulated in the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi and lived by the Friars Minor, is the path to perfection and holiness, resulting in personal transformation, not only for the Franciscans, but also for the body of the Church.”
Contributor: The Secretariat team of the Indonesian Province