THE ICON of OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP

 

Asia-Oceania

AOTEAROA

MAJELLA

Province of Indonesia

 

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Phase 1:  January 2015 – December 2015: “Strengthening and nurturing our love for the Mother of God”" - Preparation

Background/History of the Devotion of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Indonesia

History of the Novena To OMPH in Indonesia

 

The Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (OMPH) has been introduced to the people since the German Redemptorist missionaries arrived in Indonesia. At that time, the early Redemptorist missionaries put this this icon in all parishes and mission stations where Redemptorits work. In a further development, many Catholics began to love this icon. Now, this icon has begun to be familiar to most Catholics in Sumba. Most Catholics in Sumba has OMPH icon. However, only a handful of Catholics have a strong devotion to OMPH. Though many Catholics have this icon, but the devotion to the icon of OMPH is still not practiced.

 

This is caused by the traditional belief in Marapu Land (Sumba), a traditional religion in Sumba that has long existed before Christianity was introduced. This belief is very strong because it has been ingrained in the lives of Sumba. Most people are very attached to the traditional culture. So it is difficult for them to accept Christianity because of the strong cultural influences of Marapu. Therefore, devotion to Marapu is stronger than devotion to OMPH.

 

The novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help was started by the Claris nuns in Lembang , Indonesia around the 1990s. The level of devotion of the people to OMPH in Indonesia is still very weak  compared with the level of devotion of the people in the Philippines. Wherever there is a community or parish and other stations where the Redemptorists missionaries work, the OMPH icon is always visible and introduced.

In Indonesia, the novena to OMPH  has just started in 2000, in one of the Redemptorist parishes in Jakarta, the St. Leo the Great Parish. At that time, the Redemptorists crowned an original duplicate icon of OMPH, the icon of Krakow, Poland sent by the Redemptorist Provincial of Koln, Germany. Since then, novenas to OMPH were held every Saturday. Then, in early 2001, Novenas began to be held in some Redemptorist parishes in Sumba and Flores. However, the implementation of the novena is very limited in terms of the number of attendees. Thus, some parishes and communities have scheduled the novenas of OMPH.

 

• Parish of the Redeemer (Paroki Sang Penebus)

Novena mass has started in this parish since 2001. The number of people who attended about 50-70 people, most of them are high school students.

 

• Leo the Great Parish

Novena Mass has started in this parish since the Redemptorists began to work. Until now novena mass and adoration are being held every Tuesday. The number of attendees reach only 20 people. Nine days novena has celebrated in this parish.

 

• Community of  Weetebula / convent (Sumba)

Novena Mass is being held every Thursday. The average participants is approximately 25-30 people. Mass is celebrated in turn by the Redemptorists in Konventu. Novena in this community has been running for 12 years.

• St. Clement Community (Mission Community-Sumba):

Novena Mass is being held every Wednesday and the number of people who attend is approximately 15-20 people. Novena started 2 years ago.

 

• Waitiwu Community (Flores):

This community is located in the island of Flores. There is a novena chapel of OMPH built by Fr. Julius Luli Tedemaking, CSsR (+). Novena has been conducted since 2005, every Tuesday at 4.00 pm with a Mass and adoration. The number of people who usually attends is  20.

• Parish of st. Aloysius Gonzaga, Cijantung, East Jakarta

Novena in this parish just began in 2011 by Fr. Augustinus M. Bulu, CSsR. At that time, he was a parish priest, he saw an opportunity and tried to introduce novena and the  OMPH icon. Until now, the novena is held every third Friday of the month with a mass and adoration. The number of people who attendend is approximately 100 people.

 

• Student House (Wisma Sang Penebus)

Novena in this community began in 2000. Novena is held every third Thursday of the  month. The number of people who attend is approximately 70 people including Redemptorist brothers.

 

The development of the Novena in Indonesia in general is still very slow. The devotional life of Catholics in Indonesia is still very minimal. The Redemptorist missionaries only work on  few areas. The Redemptorists, since the beginning has just been focusing on the development of the local church in Sumba. At that time, the Redemptorists had to deal with people of Sumba who were strongly attached with the Marapu culture. In addition, the Redemptorists also had to deal with the Protestant churches that began to sprout rapidly. The early missionaries temporarily stayed in Indonesia after building the local church. But in subsequent developments, a few candidates began applying to become Redemptorist. Finally, the missionaries  decided to accept young candidates to become Redemptorist missionaries.

 

Indeed, when the icon of OMPH has been introduced to the people, the influence of Sumba culture became more viscous which contributed to the slow development of the novena to OMPH.

 

 

Photos and Videos of the Devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Indonesia