One of our sisters, Teresa Ryden RSCJ, lives in the Pondok Sophie Community, Jakarta, Indonesia, working as the District Treasurer, Secretary and Archivist. There are currently 26 members of the Society in Indonesia, most of whom are in initial formation.
Being in a Muslim-majority country, the work of interfaith dialogue is particularly important and the District has an active engagement with the Muslim community. This is carried out through a programme of seminars, talks and meetings that bring together Muslim, Christian and Catholic young people to share their own faith and to learn more about each other’s faith in an atmosphere of mutual respect and friendship, with the aim of equipping them to become peace-builders within their own circles of friends and communities. The programme has been running since 2017 and has an active presence on social media, including on YouTube and Instagram.
The District also expresses the Society’s educational mission through the work of ‘Pondok Bocah’a kindergarten in Jakarta for children living near our community. This informal pre-school was begun in 2003 by Sr. Lulud, the first Indonesian RSCJ and has continued since then to provide an opportunity for some of the poorest children of the neighbourhood to prepare for their primary years schooling. Many of our newer members have their ministry experience in this kindergarten.
As the numbers of RSCJ in Indonesia increase, we are currently in the process of setting up a new community in Bandung and of purchasing a property in Bogor to replace one of our first communities in Jakarta. In the last year, the Society has been recognised as a legal body in Indonesia which is a significant help to developing our presence and ministry within the country. Like elsewhere in the world, the Covid19 pandemic has had a severe effect on the people and economy of the country and its effects are ongoing. Most schools and universities have been shut for months and classes conducted online.