By Jamie O’Brien
More than 250 lay faithful of the Indonesian Catholic Community Perth (ICCP) last month came together at St Mary’s Cathedral to celebrate the 25th anniversary at a Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton.
The Mass, held on Sunday 29 October, was concelebrated by the Very Rev Fr Peter Whitely VG, Cathedral Dean, Monsignor Michael Keating, Indonesian Catholic Community Migrant Chaplain Fr Remi Asnabun along with Fr Hari Suparwito SJ.
Music for the Mass was co-ordinated and performed by the Indonesian Catholic Youth Organisation (ICYO) which also works to promote Indonesian culture and music.
ICCP Executive Committee Vice President, Roy Widjaja, said the occasion was monumental for Indonesians that attended, and a clear sign that God has been present in all that the community has done.
“The ICCP work to build faith and community and the Mass was a significant sign that God really is working to help us,” Mr Widjaja said.
“I pray that the ICCP will continue to work together, and also with other migrant communities, in showing those who have recently arrived in Perth that God is present here,” he said.
Mr Widjaja and his wife Elsje, who are from Applecross Parish, explained that the ICCP, which was originally known as the WA Indonesian Catholic Community (WAICC), started in Bateman Parish in 1992.
The idea to form an Indonesian Catholic lay association was initiated by a number of Catholic Indonesians living in Perth at the time. With the help and assistance of the Very Rev Fr Whitely VG, who became the first Indonesian Community Migrant Chaplain and Fr Antonio Paganoni, the ICCP was established.
Mr Widjaja explained that a large part of the ICCP’s undertakings involve working to help support and shepherd new Indonesian migrants who arrive in Perth.
“Thanks to the ICCP I was able to integrate into the community while still also having strong links to my culture,” Mr Widjaja said.
Mr Widjaja originally arrived in Australia as a student in 1982, before returning home to Indonesia. He arrived back in Perth in 2005 and has been married for ?? years with two children.
“We also want to help our young people not to forget their faith and culture and with God we can work together to help this to happen,” Mr Widjaja said.
Mr Widjaja also noted the good works of the ICYO, who co-ordinate a charity concert every two years.