On the day of the fest of the visitation, May, 31, 2021, Fr Juan Domingo Griffon scj the provincial superior of Argentina and Fr. Leonardo Zampa scj were waiting at the airport of Buenos Aires. At 10 pm local time a Turkish Airline landed at the airport. At midnight they welcomed Fr. Benediktus Mulyono scj, the first of seven missionaries from Asia to Argentina.
In 2018, P. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, scj had his canonical visit to Indonesia and expressed the need for the involvement of persons in international missions. Several Indonesian religious expressed their wiliness.Fr. Benedict Mulyono scj was then a formator in a minor seminary after his studies at the University of Teresianum, in Rome on spirituality, had expressed his desire to be part of this mission. Today he has become the first of many to Argentina mission. Fr. Benedict Mulyono recalls and shares his journey to the new mission.
What did you inspire to be a missionary?
I live the spirit that is instilled in every member of Congregation, namely: ‘we are Congregation’. Former General (P. Jose Ornelas Carvalho scj) on December 3, 2006, wrote a letter to the congregation. In this letter, General underlined the universal dimension of proclamation that pushes us to cross the boundaries of our personal, cultural and nation. In addition, he also emphasized that the involvement of the missionary work of the Congregation and the Church must be an important point in the program of each Entity. Fr. Superior General also recommended that every dehonian confrere should have experience in missionary work outside of his province.
These passions and values move me to dare to dedicate myself to take part in this mission in the Province of Argentina-Uruguay. I am aware that I have to learn many new things: language, culture, the virtue of local wisdom and many other things.
Mother Mary teaches a very important basic attitude saying “How could this be?”; and this basic attitude of Mary teaches us to be oriented first to God who calls us. By imitating mother Mary, I believe that God will always show a path full of hope, illumine and assist in every challenge and difficulty.
In 2018 Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú and Fr. Superior Provincial (P. Titus Waris Widodo) conveyed to all members of the Province that the involvement of the Province of Indonesia was needed in the mission imitative of the congregation; I expressed my willingness if the province wanted to assign me. Indonesian province nurtured my willingness and desire. Then the mission to Argentina happened.
It may be a coincidence that my departure from Jakarta (Indonesia) to Argentina happened on the feast of visitation, on May 31, 2021. After receiving the Provincial’s Letter of assignment of the mission to the Argentina-Uruguay Province, a Mission Mass was held by the province and after several months living in the dehonian Jakarta Community, finally, on May 31, 2021, I flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Turkish Airline.
I arrived in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at 10.00 pm local time. After passing through the immigration process, as well as a medical test (swab antigen) at the airport, at 12.00pm ,I met with Fr. Juan Domingo Griffone SCJ (Superior Provincial) and Fr. Leonardo Zampa and Mr Hector who had been waiting and welcoming me.
Approximately 30 minutes drive from Ministro Pistarini Airport (EZE), we arrived at the dehonian Provincial Community
How many of you are part of this mission?
7 people are part of this mission to the Province of Argentina-Uruguay (Paraguay). Two people from Indonesia and 5 people from India. However, due to the pandemic, the other 6 confreres have not been able to reach Argentina. Hope that the other 6 people will soon be arriving in Argentina.
This is a small province, having 21 members at present. This situation should make us to realize our unity as a congregation by taking part in this mission. The spirit of Ecce Venio from Fr. Dehon, Our Founding Father; and also Dehonian values must continue to be the spirit of our lives: among them love, sacrifice, and readiness.