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Vicariate of Indonesia

Vicariate of Indonesia

The Presence of the Order of Saint Augustine in Papua-Indonesia.

In January 2019, the Vicariate of Indonesia celebrated the 66th anniversary of the presence of the Augustinians in West Papua Indonesia.

The arrival of the Augustinians in Indonesia began when they responded to the invitation from the missionaries of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi (OFM).

To show the motivation and hope of the Order to spread the Good News in a new mission area, the Dutch province sent two friars (Fr. Petrus van Diepen, OSA and Fr. Alex Snelting, OSA) for a mission in Papua-Indonesia. The two Dutch Augustinian Missionaries arrived in Jayapura, Papua on 1st January in 1953.

At first, the Augustinian friars worked in the Jayapura diocese (Holandia Prefecture).

In 1955, the Augustinian friars moved and settled in the Bird’s Head Peninsula called Kepala Burung in Indonesian and Vogelkop in Dutch. Later, this region became a new diocese, the Diocese of Manokwari-Sorong had its first bishop, who is an Augustinian, Mgr. Petrus van Diepen, OSA (1966-1988). To support missionary work, the Dutch province also sent twelve other friars. Fourteen Dutch Augustinian missionaries had been sent to Papua by the Holland Province.

Their focus or mission was to establish and prepare the Papuan Local Church (the diocese) from various ministries like education, catechism, formation, health, and so forth.

While serving for a number of years, recruiting Indonesians as candidates for the Order of Saint Augustine was not the mission of the Dutch Augustinians. Eventually, after 33 years, the awareness of the importance of internal regeneration and sustainability of the Order of Saint Augustine grew. In 1986, they built a new monastery in Sorong. It was used as the mother house as well as the novitiate (formation house). The delegation of West-Papua (Indonesia) was then formally created by the Dutch Province. According to the Constitutions of the Order No. 245, a delegation may be created when it already had less than 15 locally ascribed members. 

“A delegation is defined as a grouping of a circumscription’s friars and houses, located in a distant area where the major superior commends its immediate governance to a delegated superior. It can be established by a provincial chapter with the consent of the Prior General or by the Prior General himself with the consent of his Council.” (Constitutions, 245). 

In the following years, the Indonesian vocation grew that in 2010, the delegation already had 51 friars in vows (29 solemn professed friars and 22 in temporary vows). It was in April 2010, during the Intermediate General Chapter of the Order, through the Dutch Province, requested that the delegation be elevated to the status of a Vicariate. 

Three years later, the former Delegation of West Papua (Indonesia) was unanimously voted by the General Chapter in August 2013 to be raised to the status of a vicariate within the Order. This signifies that, after sixty years, the Augustinians in Papua have reached a sufficient number to be granted greater control of their own administration.

The official canonical commencement of the new Vicariate took place in two events in West Papua. The first occurred at Sorong on 1st November and the second in Jayapura on 4th November 2013. The events in Sorong were held on the Feast of All Saints and the Principal Celebrant was Bishop Datus Hilarion Lega from the local Diocese of Manokwari-Sorong assisted by numerous Augustinian priests. The local Augustinian novices and postulants joined in the celebrations which were held in the hall of a parish near to the downtown community.

The Intermediate General Chapter (2016) supported the process of transferring the dependency of the Vicariate of West Papua from the Province of the Netherlands to the Province of Cebu. It was decreed according to decision No. 11.

The decision was formally realized on October 26, 2019, through a letter sent to the Prior Provincial of Cebu, Fr. Andres Rivera Jr., OSA, and the Vicar of the Vicariate of West Papua, Fr. Jan Peter Fatem, OSA. Prior General Alejandro Moral Anton, OSA, establishing the decree and determined according to the rules of the Constitutions of the Order. There are around 40 Indonesian Augustinian friars in solemn vows as of 2019.

In the State of the Province 2019, the Prior Provincial Fr. Andres Rivera Jr., OSA reported that the Provincial Council had visited the Communities of the Vicariate a number of times in 2018 and 2019.

Moreover, the Province is committed to supporting the Vicariate in whatever it can, especially in the areas of formation, finance, personnel, and governance.

Statistics of the Vicariate of Indonesia

Members (2019)

  1. Solemn professed = 46 friars (27 priests, 3 deacons, 12 frays, and 4 brothers)
  2. Simply professed friars: 21 friars
  3. Novices: 8 novices.
  4. Postulants: 5 postulants
  5. Aspirants: 4 aspirants


  1. Parish ministry.
    We are administrating seven parishes in Sorong and Jayapura dioceses (Ayawasi, Senopi, Yuruf, Ubrub, Imanuel-Manokwari, Emaus-Sorong, Pre-Kaimana Parish)
  2. Educational or Social Charity Ministry
    We have established two schools and dormitories: Villanova Catholic Junior High School and Frans Jonkergouw Dormitory and Villanova Catholic Senior High School and its two dormitories and Jan Frank Kindergarten. We also invited the Augustinian Sisters of the Divine Mercy from Kalimantan to collaborate with us in forming and taking care of our female students and administering St. Rita dormitory.
  3. Justice and Peace Ministry:
    We collaborate with other NGOs in protecting ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people, teaching formal-traditional education and advocacy against women as objects of domestic violence.


  1. Tagaste Community: 7 priests, 1 brother (Jakarta), 1 brother (Kaimana).
  2. Nikolaus Tolentino (Pre-Novice Formation House) and Klagana Community (Novitiate House): 2 priests, 2 deacons, 1 brother, 8 novices, 5 postulants.
  3. Ayawasi Community: 3 priests, 1 brother, 1 aspirant (pre-parish Suswa).
  4. SusweniCommunity: 4 priests, 2 solemn professed friars, 1 aspirant (Imanuel-Sanggeng Parish).
  5. Maripi Community: 4 priests, 1 deacon, 1 brother, 1 aspirant (Senopi parish).
  6. Jayapura-Kasisiakum Community (Simple Professed Formation House): 3 priests, 1 brother, 23 simple professed friars, 1 aspirant (Yuruf-Ubrub parish).
  7. The International Community in Ketapang = 3 priests (1 Indonesian, 2 Filipino) and 1 solemn professed friar from Indonesia.
    One priest is studying in Manila and one friar is assigned as the vicar general of the diocese of Manokwari-Sorong.


2 Simple Professed Friars spend Pastoral Exposure in Indonesia

Two Simply Professed friars of the Province were sent to Indonesia for their pastoral exposure as part of the formation program to experience the missionary life of the Augustinians outside the Philippines.

Fray Ronelle S. Dogon, O.S.A. and Fray Alberto C. Bartian Jr., O.S.A. arrived in West Kalimantan, Ketapang, Indonesia, last September 29, 2022.

They will alternately spend their six-month missionary program in the hospital and the mission station parish under the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Mercy and the Province of the Santo Niño de Cebu, respectively.

Together with them was Rev. Fr. Fernando Cleopas, OSA, the master of the Simply Professed friars in San Agustin Center of Studies, Quezon City.

Photos by Fray Ronelle Dogon, OSA

2 SP in Indonesia 10.9.2022

Three Augustinian Indonesians ordained to the Priesthood

We congratulate our three brothers from Indonesia who were ordained to the Priesthood on January 30, 2022 in St. Wilibrodus Parish Church, Arso, Keerom.

Fr. Hari Paulus Oheiledwarin, OSA, Fr. Soterius Pangguem, OSA and Fr. Patrisius Sutrisno, OSA belong to the Augustinian Vicariate of Christu Totus Papua and were ordained by the Bishop of Jayapura, Mgr. Leo Laba Ladjar, OFM.

Proficiat also goes to Father Philipus Sedik, OSA who was inaugurated as parish priest of Emanuel Sanggeng parish in Manokwari by the bishop of Manokwari-Sorong, Mgr. H. Datus Lega, Pr.

Thank you Father Lambetrus Pati, OSA for your four years of service as a parish priest. The inauguration mass was held on January 30, 2022.

Photos by Fr. Athanasius Bame, OSA