Launching of Mission in Lambanapu, Indonesia

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On February 25, 2024, the second week of Lent, we started the Mission (MU) or the renewal of the faith in Lambanapu. This is the fourth time. The first Mission was held here in 1986. Then successively in 2000 and 2006. 

Praikundu village in Lambanapu is only about 5 kilometers from the town of  Waingapu or it takes eleven minutes to get there. In this village, there is SDK Praikundu Catholic Primary School. One complex with this elementary school is Stasi St.Elisabeth Lambanapu Church.

The team of missionaries present and staying here is Fr. Yosep Manu Lena acting as the head of the MU team this time. The members are Fr. Nuel Gesi, Fr. Paul Nuho, Fr. Novri Tse, Fr. Yerris Ujan and Fr. Willy Ng Pala. This mission activity will last until May 26 this year.

The mission was officially opened by Fr. Marianus Dapa Talu CSsR, the Provincial Vicar of Indonesia. The people happily welcomed the preparation of this mission. 

The Missionaries lived and had a home base near the church. The old chapel, which was a hall, was transformed into a place for the missionaries to stay. The faithful prepared rooms that were partitioned off. The challenge was the heat of the place. Ah… but “after a week we will get used to it”, commented a confrere.

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A glimpse of  Santa Elisabeth Lambanapu Station or STELLA. According to records and stories, this station was pioneered in the late 1950s, precisely in 1959, by Mgr. Gerhard Legeland CSsR by opening The Catholic Primary School (SDK) at Praikundu. Usually, the establishment of SDK always begins with the formation of a Catholic community.

Some of the figures who opened the space were  James Pita Lindi Jawa, Simon Nggada Hati, Fabianus Talu Lay Ndima, and Laurensius Hina Lunggu Manu. These are the four brothers. 

Other figures who were with the four brothers were Yulius Pullu and Norbertus Tanda Langga. Norbertus is the father of Mr. Hendrik Pali, the legendary culturalist who was once born by Praikundu and Land of Sumba.

The land owned by the church and school is a grant from the four brothers. They belong to the Kokur Pandak tribe.

 “The first church was on the school site”, says Fidelis Kola Karipi, the current religion teacher. “We know the first church as ‘UMA RARA’ means “the Red House”, explains Fidelis.

Some of the religious teachers who worked at Stella throughout the years were Lipinus Bulu Manu, Goris Reda Lete, James Pati Ndamung, Lukas Rihi, Guru Maramba, Br. Alfons Sene, James Monteiro, Hendrik Pali, and Fidelis Kola Kariki. The latter is the current religious teacher and Prayer leader. He is also the parish lay deacon in charge here at present.

That is a glimpse of Stella.

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The current number of parishioners is 1449 people consisting of 285 households. They are spread across 6 neighbourhoods and 15 BEC. These days are our days of visiting and inviting people to participate in this faith renewal movement.

Despite the heat and humidity, we are still eager to walk from door to door to meet the people in all their circumstances. It was great to see the joyful faces of our parishioners when we visited them. Hope is our message to them. 

May God, who bestows redemption, always protect you. Be missionaries of hope following in the footsteps of the Redeemer.

Fr. Willy Ng Pala, CSsR.

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