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FLORES WOMEN´S RELIGIOUS CONGREGATION MARKS 40TH ANNIVERSARY

Updated: August 30, 1998 05:00 PM GMT
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An indigenous women´s religious congregation on eastern Indonesia´s predominantly Catholic island of Flores marked its 40th anniversary with a reflection on its mission of service to the local Church.

The Daughters of the Rosary Queen (Puteri Reinha Rosari, PRR) celebrated its ruby jubilee on Aug. 15 in Larantuka, East Flores, with a concelebrated Mass presided over by Divine Word Bishop Darius Nggawa of Larantuka.

PRR superior general Sister Gabriella Tapaona said that throughout the congregation´s 40 years, PRR nuns have been inspired by the people they serve.

"Our congregation has grown, thanks to the support of Catholics in Larantuka diocese and other places where we work. Our vocation has been enriched by the small people we serve," Sister Tapaona said.

She noted that many PRR nuns faced with a vocation crisis gained strength after witnessing the lives of the people.

Sister Tapaona said that today PRR has 238 nuns working not only in Larantuka diocese but also in 11 other dioceses in Indonesia, and even in one diocese in Kenya in east Africa. It has some 30 novices and 55 postulants.

She said the congregation is involved in various fields such as health care, pastoral service and education including vocational training courses to empower the poor, especially women.

The congregation´s focus for the near future would be professional training for nuns, according to Sister Tapaona.

PRR was founded by the late Divine Word Bishop Gabriel Manek in 1956 before he became archbishop of Ende in central Flores. It aims to train native women Religious to eventually replace European nuns in serving the local Church.

Bishop Nggawa said in his homily that the PRR nuns have really responded to the needs of the local Church as envisioned by their founder.

"The works of the PRR nuns have brought about reform from God. They served human dignity," the Larantuka bishop said.

END

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