CATHOLIC MIGRATION OFFICE
Indonesian Catholic Migrant Ministry in New York is member of
Catholic Migration Office of Diocese of Brooklyn
About KKI NY
ENGLISH | INDONESIA
Indonesian Catholic Community (KKI) in New York was launched in 1985 by the ideas of some of our previous leader who lived in the United States several years ago. Prior to the emergence of the idea, some Indonesian Catholic families at that time joined worship service together with other Christians in Ecumenical Church led. This worship service was based more on a sense of togetherness in one nation, one language and one Lord Jesus. Nevertheless, they still longed for the Eucharist (Holy Mass) which was held in the Indonesian language.
By His guidance and also His will, then in January 1985, one of the member of the parish church of St. Michael, Flushing, New York at the time, with an Indonesian priest who served at St. Philip and James, Bronx, New York (previously they had met at the Ecumenical Church in 1984) discussed about the possibility of convening of the Holy Mass (Eucharist) in the Indonesian language. The meeting turned out to be successful with forming an association of Indonesian Catholic families which was then approved by the local pastor, Msgr. Joseph Greenfelder.
On March 30, 1985, this association started their first Holy Mass in the Indonesian language. The first Holy Mass was attended by some Indonesian Catholic families and individual people. Then, the Holy Mass was held from home to home among the Catholic families and eventually they agreed to hold the Holy Mass regularly on the fourth Saturday of each month. Apparently, this Holy Mass could be held continuously due to the Indonesian priests/pastors who were studying at the Jesuit Community (Manhattan) and Maryknoll Seminary (Upstate New York). The meeting of Indonesian Catholic families in the Holy Mass continued to bear fruits vastly in mutually strengthening, uplifting and helped purifying the appreciation of the Christian faith. And by mutual consent, finally this association of Indonesian Catholic families was named KKI – INDONESIAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY.
On October 25, 1986, few congregations of KKI attended Holy Mass of Multi-ethnic Liturgical Celebration held at Blessed Sacrament Church, Jackson Heights, and New York where Bishop Joseph O’Keele (Vicar General Archdiocese of New York) factually acknowledged the existence of this KKI. Since then, KKI had been inserted into the Most Rev. Rene A. Valero, DD (Vicar for Migration and Refugee Office of Brooklyn/ Queens). Hence, on the same year KKI officers began to develop this association by issuing KKI Newsletter in English language which contained a collection of poems/rhymes, impression/message from among the congregations of KKI including the monthly attendance of KKI. Then the following year, 1987, this newsletter was written in Indonesian language for the first time.
Eventually in 1994, Bishop Thomas Vose Daily (Bishop of Brooklyn) validated the establishment of KKI as Indonesian Apostolate and officially became an “organization” under the auspices of the CMO (Catholic Migration Office) of the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens, which until now oversees 29 apostolate of various nations in the world. CMO (legally named Catholic Migration Service, Inc.) is a nonprofit organization which has various programs that are very helpful for new immigrants (regardless of religion, nation or state). Since then, the abbreviation of KKI had been changed from INDONESIA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY to INDONESIAN CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, because KKI which at the beginning was only the Catholic Family meeting and it had been developed into an official Catholic Apostolate. We not only gathered to attend the Holy Mass and socialized to be hospitable family, but more than that we had the task to glorify God and extend His Kingdom by helping others, spreading God’s love and reach out to Indonesian Catholic people who lived and worked in this country.
As a result of legalization of KKI NY (Indonesian Catholic Apostolate of New York) by the Catholic Migration Office, the KKI NY was advisable to have a permanent place of worship. Therefore some of the previous Indonesian Apostolate leader immediately contacts Msgr. Joseph P. Bynon, parochial vicar of Resurrection Ascension Church. As a result, KKI NY was allowed to hold Holy Mass on every second Sunday by using the existing Chapel. As for organizing large events, KKI NY was allowed to use its church and auditorium as long as not disturbing their worship service schedule. And as a token of gratitude, KKI NY gives monthly donations to the Resurrection Ascension Church until today.
On October 6, 1995, in the context of apostolic visit to the United States, Holy Father, Pope John Paul II led the Eucharistic celebration held at Aqueduct Racecourse, Brooklyn, New York. At that time, our Indonesian priest and some of the Indonesian Apostolate leader represented KKI NY, accompanied by several other KKI NY families attended the celebration of the Eucharist. This made the existence of KKI NY really increasingly solid and became the only place of Indonesian Catholic Apostolate recognized officially by the CMO (Catholic Migration Office) of the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens. Coordination meeting between KKI NY which was usually represented by one of our previous leader and the Indonesian priest with the CMO often carried out by Msgr. Ronald T. Marino, director of the CMO at that time and currently served as the Vicar for Migrant and Ethnic Apostolate. KKI NY also actively attended the 25th Silver Jubilee celebration of the CMO – with approximately 3,000 people from the Apostolate of other nations where Msgr. Anthony Bevilacqua led the Holy Mass held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica. The development of the people of KKI NY was extended to the state of New Jersey, New Hampshire and some other cities. Therefore, on August 7, 2000, KKI open new branches.
Based on the incoming data until the year 2011, the number of people registered in the KKI NY is more than 225 families and youth group, or approximately more than 400 people (not including the families of New Jersey and New Hampshire). Growth in number of congregations of KKI NY for the past 2 (two) years was marked by increasing number of 180 new people (or an average of 7 people /month – usually introduced to all the congregations upon completion of the event of Holy Mass).
KKI whose existence has spread out from New York State is not a religious organization in the form of regular church but it’s merely as a place of gathering for Indonesian Catholic Apostolate. Therefore, we always are advisable to blend into local parishes where we live either by participating in its church activities or just as regular members who are registered at the local parish. This is the true mission of KKI which is ‘Reaching out’ but also had “Affiliating” – reach out and mingle.
Although the domicile of the Indonesian Catholic families is far apart, but with His love and sense of togetherness, we are gathered once a month at the Holy Mass.
Along with the increase of people and also the spiritual needs of the member, the staff of Indonesian Apostolate agreed to discuss to Msgr. Marino the Vicar for Migrant and Ethnic Apostolate – CMO in term of and St. Bartholomew Parish – Rev. Richard Beuther to get the permission to have a Holy Mass in St. Bartholomew Church. The other concern also why we want to have another week of Eucharist Mass is because a lot of Indonesian Catholic people went to the other Indonesian Christian Church because they don’t really understand the language if they go to the English Mass. Our Indonesian Catholic Mass only celebrate the mass one time every 2nd week of the month. We choose this church because almost 80 percent of the Indonesian Apostolate member living around the church.
On May 26 2012, CMO and St. Bartholomew Church agree to give the permission to Indonesian Apostolate to celebrate the Holy Mass every month on the 4th week.
Finally, after a long process and a lot of prayers by members of KKI NY, on February 22, 2015, CMO of the Brooklyn Diocese assigned Fr. Robert Mirsel, SVD as the coordinator or "parish priest" of Indonesian Ministry (KKI-NY).