Father Berthold Anton Pareira was widely known as an expert on the Old Testament. (Photo: Screenshot of a livestreamed prayer for Father Pareira’s soul on YouTube)
Catholics in Indonesia are mourning the death of an 81-year-old Carmelite priest who was widely known as an expert on the Old Testament.Father Berthold Anton Pareira died of a heart attack on Jan. 8 at the Catholic-run Panti Waluya Hospital in Malang, East Java province.He was buried on Jan. 10 at the Sukun Christian Cemetery in the city following a requiem Mass in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral Church led by Carmelite Bishop Henricus Pidyarto Gunawan of Malang.
He was “a simple and charming figure who was close to everyone,” said Vincentian Father Fransiskus Xaverius Eko Armada Riyanto, the rector of Widya Sasana School of Philosophy and Theology (STFT Widya Sasana) in Malang, where Father Pareira lectured for many years.“All his students have been touched, motivated, educated and prayed for by him. Each has inherited his spirit of love and will continue his ideals,” he told UCA News.
Returning to Indonesia, he became a lecturer of Old Testament studies at STFT Widya Sasana in Malang in 1975.He went on to become the institution’s assistant rector for six years (1980-86), and then rector for 11 years (1987-98).
He was later appointed professor of Old Testament studies at STFT Widya Sasana in 2006.Father Pareira was also a formator for Carmelite seminarians, a member of the order’s Commission for Evangelization and International Commission for Justice and Peace, a counselor for Malang Diocese’s Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and a member of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Theology.