no. 2 april - june 2005
Many Carmelites and Carmelite ministries have provided aid to the parts of Asia struck by the tsunami on December 26, 2004.
The Bread for the World organization, a member of the Carmelite NGO, raised over US$220,000 for victims. The Carmelite General Curia in Rome received donations totaling over 200,000 euro from a number of provinces, monasteries as well as Carmelite organizations and ministries. Other ministries, such as the Carmelite Missions office, passed on significant funds to assist.
At the Asian Region meeting of the Carmelite NGO in February, Antonius Paryanto, O. Carm., who traveled to the area hardest hit as part of the relief team, briefed the members on the work and the needs for the near future. Marcus Pantja, O. Carm., works with the Humanitarian Volunteer Network.
On January 19, 2005, Yulius Sudarnoto, O. Carm., sent out a first message on what was found as the Carmelites entered the area affected. "The situation is a catastrophe. There are dead bodies everywhere. The aftershocks of the earthquake still occur. Please send requests for help to all of your contacts."
Fr. Yulius who spends most days working with the more than 50 Carmelite theology students in Malang found himself coordinating the Indonesian Carmelite Relief Committee. A two part program was established to help the tsunami victims on the Indonesian island of Sumatra where well over 100,000 people lost their lives and so many others lost their homes and possessions.
The first goal is short term assistance. It focuses on providing personnel and supplies to the five Carmelite parishes and two communities of sisters in and around Medan, the capital of Sumatra. Many of those affected by the tsunami further north have migrated to Medan. There has been a constant need for food, water, clothing, medicine, and housing. The Carmelite parishes and the communities of Carmelite sisters have been providing these necessities.
The longer term goal is to help in the rebuilding of the area of Sumatra that was devastated. Because many of the Carmelite students are from the island and speak the local language, they will be assisting in the rebuilding of homes and businesses during the summer break.
While no deaths or injuries were reported among the Carmelites, some had family members who lost their homes.
The Bread for the World organization in New Orleans (USA) received funding for specific purposes. Among these is the purchase of boats for fishermen who lost theirs and along with them, their means of making a living wage. Funds will also be used to repair fishing nets and to reclaim the top soil on farms. Some funds are being used to purchase netting to protect sleeping children from insects.
The Indonesian Province has established a North Sumatra Commissariat Cooperate. The coordinator for this effort is Simon Rande, O.Carm, while Vitalis Tribeno Yuwono, O.Carm., will serve as treasurer, and members will be Karel Tola, O.Carm. and Peter Nolaskus, O.Carm. Antonius Paryanto, O.Carm., will serve as field coordinator.
Many Carmelite organizations have worked together to enable the Indonesian Province to work towards its short term and long term goals. The Carmelite NGO, while not a funding source, has served as a channel for some significant funding to go directly to the Carmelites working in the affected area. The Carmelite Mission Office of the PCM Province directed help through the Indonesian Carmelite Relief Committee. Karit-España, the NGO of the Carmelite Provinces of the Iberian peninsula, informed its members through a new news bulletin inaugurated in order to get out the word. The Curia sent funds to both India and Indonesia.
Aceh, a city which received significant coverage, is where Carmelites Dionysius and Redemptus, both recognized as "blessed" by the Church, were martyred in 1638.
The website of the Indonesian Province is www.indocarmel.org
1) Bro Antonius Paryanta, O. Carm., of the Indonesian Province (on the far right) joins a family in the tent where they have been sheltered since the tsunami on December 26, 2004.
2) In an attempt to assist in rebuilding the fishing industry in the area hit by the tsunami, Bro Antonius (right) inspects boats being built. Donations will make it possible for the Indonesian Province to buy some of these boats, enabling fishermen to begin working again. (Photos courtesy of the Indonesian Province)
Fifteen members of the Carmelite Family in Asia gathered to discuss the Carmelite NGO. The meeting took place at Lembah Karmel, the retreat center of the Putri Karmel and the Brothers of the Carmelitae Sancti Eliae (CSE) in Cikanyere, Indonesia. Represented were Putri Karmel (2) , the Indonesian Province of the Carmelites (5), the Hermanas Carmelitas (1), the CSE Brothers (3), the Carmelites of the Philippine General Commissariat (1) and three members of the Carmelite NGO.
Time during the first sessions allowed for each group to present their ministries so that everyone would have the same understanding of what the Carmelites and its affiliated congregations do in the Asian region to promote Gospel values. Particular focus was given to the areas of justice, peace and the integration of creation or that promote Gospel values.
The following sessions gave the group the opportunity to explore what an NGO affiliated to the United Nations is and to dispel some of the misunderstandings. This included a number of practical explanations of how the Carmelite NGO can network or interact with the various bodies of the United Nations itself as well as with NGO’s affiliated to the United Nations.
The final day was spent exploring the mutual benefit for the various Carmelite entities becoming linked to and working with the Carmelite NGO. In the end, the representatives of the NGO proposed that a professionally facilitated meeting be held of interested parties of the Carmelite Family in Indonesia to address concerns and develop strategies in the areas of: (1) working with a hostile bureaucracy and (2) developing some assertiveness skills.
The outline for this proposed program was presented to the full group and endorsed at a very moving closing liturgy.
The 2004 annual report of the Carmelite NGO to the United Nations was made available for review. During some pauses in the meetings, films of Indonesian Carmelite Antonius Paryanto participating in the tsunami relief effort were shown. Several picture albums of the disaster relief efforts were also available for review.
Representing the Carmelite NGO were Helen Ojario and Jane Remson, members of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New Orleans, LA and William J. Harry, member of the General Council of the Order.
The web site of the Carmelite NGO is carmelites.info/ngo
1) Helen Ojario, Lucia Widhi, and Antonius Paryanta discuss one of the points raised during the meeting of the Carmelite NGO in Asia.
2) Participants in the Asian Region meeting of the Carmelite NGO in Lemah Karmel. Left to right are Dedy Purnawan, Bernard Roosendaal, Lucia Widhi, Hariawan Adji, Sr. Angelica, Johannes Indrakasuma, William Harry, Sr. Scholastica, Helen Ojario, Jane Remson, Br. Dionisius, Br. Antonius, Eko Putranto, Siriakus, and Antonius Paryanta. (CITOC photo)