The Province of the Netherlands first sent Augustinians to Papua in 1953, and in April 2010 decided to request the next Augustinian General Chapter in Rome that the Delegation of Papua be raised to the status of a Vicariate.
This request can be made because the Delegation of Papua now has fifty-one members in vows: twenty-nine of these have solemn vows, and twenty-one of them are priests, including three Dutch-born priests. All other members are locally-born, including two of our priests now in Manila preparing for degrees in psychology and educational management.
There are seven non-clerical brothers, three of who have solemn vows and the other four simple vows. There are a total of twenty-two still in simple vows, eleven novices and five postulants.
We have five locations that belong to the Delegation: BiaraTagaste in Sorong, which is the central house and contains the office of the delegation superior; Biara Hippo, the novitiate at Klagana, Sorong; BiaraKasisiakum at Waena, Jayapura, the formation house for the professed students or students who are studying theology and philosophy; Biara St Nicolaus of Tolentino at Aimas, inland from Sorong, the postulant house; Biara St Monica at Susweni, Manokwari, the community for our members who are teaching and working in our Saint Thomas of Villanova senior high school that began on 16th July 2010.
We minister in five parishes in two dioceses: three parishes in the diocese of Manokwari-Sorong at Saint Joseph’s Parish at Ayawasi, and at Imanuel Parish, at Sanggeng in Manokwari, at Emaus Parish in Pahlawan at Sorong, and in two remote jungle parishes in the Diocese of Jayapura at St Boniface parish, Ubrub and St Mary Mother of God Parish, Yuruf.
Besides that, in Sorong we are working in two formation centers for study, which belong to Dioceses of Manokwari: St Augustinus student hostel (for men), and St Monica student hostel (for women), Sorong, where we are assisted by the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Mercy from Ketapang.
We are participating co-owners in the inter-diocesan School of Theology “FajarTimur” at Jayapura, where our simply-professed students study philosophy and theology, and where one of the Augustinians is a professor.
A set of goals for the next five years and the next ten years has been prepared, broadly covering formation, community life and new additional ministries different in nature and location to those listed above.
The former Delegation of West Papua (Indonesia) was unanimously voted by the general Chapter of 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 DatusHilarionLega 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.