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Papuan Catholics mark 50 years of theology school

School forms graduates to become the voice of justice in Papua, says bishop

Papuan Catholics mark 50 years of theology school

Part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology in Indonesia’s Papua province. (Photo by Benny Mawel).

October 13, 2017

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Catholics in Indonesia's Papua province celebrated the 50th anniversary of Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology on Oct.10.

Five bishops and dozens of priests concelebrated the anniversary Mass held at the school which is in the college town of Abepura. Hundreds of alumni, priests, government and non-government representatives attended the Mass and a celebration event afterwards.

Father Neles Tebay, president of the school, in his speech after Mass said that hundreds of people have graduated from the school since it opened in 1967.

"Some of them are clergy, and the rest work in companies and government offices in Papua, and even throughout Indonesia," Father Tebay said.

Heri Dosinaen, provincial secretary of Papua province, said that the graduates of this theology school have helped develop Papua.

"It has had tremendous influence on the lives of people in Papua," he said.

Bishop Hilarion Datus Lega of Manokwari-Sorong, a school-foundation chairman, said the school has formed graduates "to become the voice of justice in the land of Papua."

Markus Haluk, who graduated in 2000, said the school fostered in him a solid sense of right and wrong.

"Attending this school for four years made me a fighter for justice for the rights of indigenous Papuans," said Haluk, an activist of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology is co-managed by Merauke Archdiocese and the dioceses of Manokwari-Sorong, Jayapura, Mimika, and Agats-Asmat.

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