Chaplain: Fr Martinus Situmorang OFM Cap
Phone: 0424 704 493
In 1995, four Indonesian families in Brisbane – the Suroso, Lim, Adiwinata and Oei families, felt the need to start a community and have Mass in the Indonesian language.
Starting a community from scratch was not easy but the faith, perseverance and hard work of these four families eventually led to the establishment of the Indonesian Catholic Family. The first Indonesian Mass was held on 5 March 1995 presided by four priests — Fr Adam Satu SVD, Fr Joseph Mesa SVD, Fr Edel Ngaji SVD and Fr Levi SVD.
The community was supported by a few parish and archdiocesan agency contacts including the Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care (CMPC) through their fledgling years. Fr Stephen Ndun SVD was the community’s first Chaplain.
There were times in the early years when the community was left without a chaplain or a Mass celebrant, CMPC assisted in arranging a roster of priests through the Migrant Chaplains group to celebrate Mass for them. Diocesan priests as well as priests from other ethnic communities pitched in to celebrate Mass. The community also moved several times as it tried to establish a stable “home” in the archdiocese. In the early days the community gathered for Mass at St. Cecilia’s Church Hamilton, St Patrick’s Church Fortitude Valley, Sacred Heart Church Paddington, then at St Joan of Arc in Herston in 2007 and more recently at St Ita’s Church in Dutton Park.
From their humble beginnings in 1995, the closely knit community has had a number of “caretakers”, Mass celebrants and Chaplains including Fr Stephen Ndun SVD, Fr Hubert Ghewa SVD, Sr Angela Remi, Fr Cornelius Sipayung, OFM Cap, Fr Paskalis Pasaribu, OFM Cap, Pastor Norbert Ambarita, OFM Cap, Fr Maximilian Kimsong, Fr Nestor Sinaga OFM Cap, Fr Pionius Hendi OFM Cap, and more recently, Fr Martinus Situmorang OFM Cap.
The Indonesian Catholic Family Brisbane & Gold Coast numbers to about 500 and is thriving and growing.
Visit the Community website for more information.
For a quick guide on general culture visit SBS Cultural Atlas.