Catholics in Ende archdiocese, in East Nusa Tenggara, are today mourning the loss of a pastor who they say contributed greatly to the growth of the local Church.
Divine Word Archbishop Emeritus Donatus Djagom died yesterday in his sleep at age 92.
His body was sent to Christ the King Cathedral Church in Ende today where it will lie in state until his funeral on December 2.
He will be buried in the grounds of the Archdiocesan Palace after a requiem Mass led by Archbishop Vincentius Sensi Potokota of Ende.
“Archbishop Emeritus Donatus was very close to his people. Many, especially in villages, really felt his presence as a pastor,” Archbishop Potokota said.
He “was dedicated and committed to the growth of the local Church while he led this archdiocese for 27 years,” he said, adding the former prelate “paid great attention to the role of ordinary Catholics.”
Divine Word Father Johanes Damianus Mukese, head of theFlores Pos newspaper, praised Archbishop Emeritus Donatus for building an effective strategy for pastoral work.
“He started pastoral discussions involving priests and laypeople in 1984. During his leadership, three major pastoral discussions were held,” Fr. Mukese said.
He also credited the late archbishop with having encouraged many local people to answer their religious calling.
“The number of native-born priests grew fast, and many of them became missioners,” he said.
Archbishop Emeritus Donatus was born on May 10, 1919 in Bilas, Manggarai and ordained a priest in Teteringen, the Netherlands, on August 28, 1949.
On December 19, 1968, he was appointed archbishop of Ende, and his episcopal ordination was on June 11, the following year. He retired on February 23, 1996.