UCA News


New Tanjung Selor bishop to focus on people development

Indonesian Bishop-elect Paulinus Yan Olla stresses need to promote education, fight trafficking ahead of his ordination

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
New Tanjung Selor bishop to focus on people development

Bishop-elect Paulinus Yan Olla said people's development is an important agenda for his diocese. (Photo is supplied by Tarsy Asmat)

Share this article :
The new bishop of Tanjung Selor in Indonesia's North Kalimantan province says people's development will be his main priority during his ministry.

Holy Family Bishop-elect Paulinus Yan Olla — whose episcopal appointment by Pope Francis was announced in mid-February, will be ordained bishop on May 5 in a field in Tanjung Selor, in Bulungan district.

Twenty-four bishops, more than 100 priests and about 3,000 Catholics were expected to attend the ordination ceremony.

"Human development is the main challenge, as many [low paid] Catholics work on palm oil plantations," Bishop Olla told ucanews.com on May 4.

He also said that raising education standards and awareness as to how important education is among the Dayak people — the largest tribal community in Kalimantan — was also a major concern.

Many Dayak children do not want to go to school and, instead, get married at a young age.

A general lack of understanding about the importance of education is the main reason, he said.

"In the near future, the diocese will encourage all related parties to try and overcome this challenge," the prelate said.

The diocese wants to provide young people with formation programs and also offer economic development programs to families. In addition, the catechetical program will be strengthened so that Catholics can better understand the meaning of "being the church."

The new bishop also said his diocese, which serves about 60,000 Catholics from 15 parishes, also faces significant problems resulting from environmental destruction and human trafficking. 

 It is reported that about 850,000 hectares in North Kalimantan is given over to palm oil plantations.

"The environmental [destruction] issue is related to big projects, such as palm oil plantations and mining," he said, adding that it is a challenge for Catholics to put Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si' into practice.

Addressing human trafficking, he acknowledged that the diocese has long suffered from it. One parish is located in Nunukan, a transit point for migrant workers from Indonesia to Malaysia.

"It is some thing I will want to look at. I raised it when I met the governor to introduce myself a few days ago," he said.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM


Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."