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News on tsunami Aceh, Norh Sumatra
and svd solidarity in indonesia

From: Guido Tisera
To: Niels Johansen ; Tom Ascheman SVD - Mission Secretariat ; Antonio Pernia ; Leo Kleden
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 10:57 AM
Subject: tsunaminusra

Letter of solidarity from Archbishop of Ende, Flores:

Under the initiative of our svd confreres in Ledalero and Candraditya Research Center in Maumere, Archbishop of Ende, Flores where most of svd are working and our big Seminary is located, Archbishop Longginus da Cunha has issued a letter with an urgent appeal to the faithful of the archdiocese to help Aceh tsunami victims. First of all, he in unity with his faithful express profound condolence for the victims. At the same time we are in solidarity with Aceh people who are suffering from the disaster, so the letter goes on . We certainly can not stay doing nothing in face of this great catastrophy. We ourselves in Flores has once experienced the tsunami waves (in 1992) and we still remember how generous people from everywhere were towards us. Therefore, in great solidarity with the Aceh and North Sumatra victims, we appeal to all in the archdiocese to rise for help. In particular, we ask the Vicar Episcopal, all parish priests and assistant parish priests, religious communities and religious superiors, all catholic institutions and lay organizations in the archdiocese to organize and motivate the faithful to help and raise funds. Your aid whatever small it might be would be very significant and appreciated for those suffering at the moment.

Beside actions to raise fund, personal contributions, we decided that collection from Sunday the 16th of January 2005 in parish church be allotted for the tsunami and earthquake victims in Aceh and North Sumatra. We plan to channel this aid via Crisis Center of Indonesian Bishops Conference, Jakarta.

Ende, 30 December, 2004.
Archbishop of Ende
Abdon Longinus da Cunha.

Prior to this, a letter from Bishops Conference of Nusa Tenggara Region, comprising 7 dioceses on the island of Flores, Timor, Sumba and Bali, was issued, in which Archbishop of Ende as the Chairman of the Conference expressed deep mourning for the victims and solidarity with people in Aceh and Norh Sumatera. The letter was signed by Archbishop of Ende as the Chairman.

Solidarity meeting, January 1, 2005;

On the first of January, 2005, a meeting was held at our svd Research Center, Candraditya, Maumere, Flores. The initiative came from several svd confreres who have been involved in different crisis situation in Flores. Present were a group of sisters of the SSpS and other religious congregations, svd confreres from our Major Seminary Ledalero and Candraditya itself. A group of seminarians also attended the meeting.

The agenda of the meeting was, how to raise the awareness of the people to help and organize fundraising in the archdiocese of Ende for the tsunami victims in Aceh and North Sumatra. The overall coordinator of the action is Amatus Woi, SVD, assisted by our confreres in Candraditya, Eman Embu svd cs. The main responsibility rests with the Archbishop of Ende.

Where to get funds from? Special contributions from religious associations of Maumere region, during their Christmas celebration. Collections from different schools run by religious as well as by the state. Special art and drama performance for fundraising. Special Sunday collection in parishes as recommended by Archbishop in his letter. Personal approach to different persons and organizations for solidarity.

How to work out the plan? Amatus Woi svd, chairman of volunteer association will approach the Vicar Episcopal of Maumere for this; also the chairman of the diocese' schools will be contacted regarding the collection in schools; all parish priests are to be informed and encouraged. One SSpS sister plus an svd will collaborate closely with the Ledalero Seminarians for special actions and performances for fundraising. Religious associantion plus seminarians (of Ledalero) will be involved in collection in public places in the town of Maumere. The letter of solidarity of the archbishop will be read in local radio station for public awareness of the problem. Our confreres in Candraditya are tasked with close coordination on the accounting and its administration and on how to forward the fund for the victims. A special coordination has been set up to cope for the problem under the chairmanship of Amatus Woi svd, the Chair of "Association of Flores Voluntees for Humanity".

In addition to this, messages through Cell phone from Amatus Woi reached me (Guido Tisera) this morning, on the 3rd of January 2005, as the following:

We (Amatus Woi and svds in Ledalero and Candraditya, Flores) have started planning voluntary personnel from Flores to Aceh, in line with the circular letter of General Superior of SVD to 4 svd provinces of Indonesia. We recruited personnel for Aceh. According to our experience helping the people of East Timor in 1999, helping immediately those in suffering, will never be a mistake, now or in the future. I (Amatus Woi) and Eman Embu SVD, will soon leave for Medan and then to Aceh to asses the situation there. Possibly we will bring also 5 or 6 seminarians from Ledalero.

Summarized and translated by Guido Tisera.