Oleh FRANS OBON
ENDE, Indonesia (UCAN) -- Bishop Vincentius Sensi Potokota of Maumere was formally installed on June 7 as archbishop of Ende.
He succeeded Archbishop Abdon Longinus da Cunha, who died April 6, 2006, of heart failure, as head of the archdiocese in the central part of Flores, a predominantly Catholic island.
The Vatican nuncio to Indonesia, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, presided at the June 7 installation Mass at Christ the King Cathedral in Ende, 630 kilometers east of Jakarta. About 2,000 Catholics attended, some of whom watched the ceremony on wide-screen television under tents erected in the cathedral compound.
Bishop Fransiskus Kopong Kung of Larantuka and Divine Word Bishop Gerulfus Kherubim Pareira of Weetebula concelebrated the Mass along with 180 priests. Larantuka is in eastern Flores, while Weetebula is on nearby Sumba.
In his sermon, Archbishop Sensi said his transfer from neighboring Maumere diocese, created from Ende in December 2005, provides many new lessons.
He expressed his "commitment to faith and service to the people" and his conviction that God will create the best out of "logical and illogical, or suitable and unsuitable things." He added, "I claim to creatively believe in God because it pacifies my heart."
Archbishop Sensi was ordained the first bishop of Maumere on April 23, 2006. He took the Latin motto Praedica Verbum, Opportune Importune (preach the word, whether convenient or inconvenient), taken from Saint Paul's second letter to Timothy. He was appointed archbishop of Ende on April 14 this year.
"Twenty-seven years ago, when I was ordained a priest, I chose 'Not my will but yours be done' as my priestly motto," Archbishop Sensi said. His service as archbishop he described as a further development of his priestly commitment.
The new archdiocesan leader asked his people to pray for each other and realize together the life of Jesus in their daily life.
Ende archdiocese covers 5,084 square kilometers. It has 411,334 Catholics in a population of 449,057, served by 287 priests, 513 Religious sisters and brothers, and 567 catechists. They work in 52 parishes.
On June 6, Maumere diocese Catholics accompanied Archbishop Sensi and Archbishop Girelli to the area that borders Ende archdiocese's territory.
There, a sub-district head welcomed the archbishops in the name of Ende people by putting traditional Ende shawls around their necks.
About 1,000 people, including some Muslims and Protestants, welcomed the two archbishops as they entered Ende town. A Muslim woman named Fatimah put another Ende traditional shawl around Archbishop Girelli's neck.
She told UCA News that Muslims' involvement in the welcome ceremony showed that "Muslims widely welcome Catholics' hands for dialogue."
Another Muslim, Said Muhamad, told UCA News he joined the welcome ceremony "because we are brothers and sisters of one God, and Archbishop Sensi is a personality who is open to other believers."
During the last Id al-Fitr, the feast that ends the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, then-Bishop Sensi called Muslims to build dialogue, he recalled.
People then accompanied the two archbishops to the Ende archbishop's residence. Before entering, Archbishop Sensi stepped on an egg with his bare foot, a traditional local rite for entering a new dwelling.
In his speech before the installation Mass, Archbishop Girelli urged Catholics on Flores to establish dialogue with other believers.
"The archdiocese of Ende is the center of Catholics on Flores. Florinese must be proud, as well as examples of good citizens who sincerely establish dialogue," the nuncio said.
Ende district head Paulinus Domi, a Catholic, welcomed the installation of a new archbishop and promised in his address to maintain and improve good cooperation between the Church and government "for the betterment of the people."
After the Mass, Ros Fernandes told UCA News she was glad for the appointment of "the simple personality" as the archbishop of Ende. "This is divine providence. We are glad and happy. When we heard during the Church announcement that the pope appointed him as the new archbishop, many people cried happily," the Catholic woman said.
Artikel dimuat di Ucan, 11 Juni 2007
IS02661.1449 June 11, 2007 63 EM-lines (659 words)