Father Bonefasius Buahendri, SVD, or Father Boni (pronounced Bonny) was
born on 5 June 1970 in Flores, Indonesia.He is the youngest of 3 brothers and 3 sisters.
Father Boni was inspired to become a missionary by his Parish Priest, Fr. Joseph van Hoef, SVD.
He joined the Divine Word Missionaries on 1st July 1990, was ordained a priest and on 10th October 1998 and I was appointed to the Australia SVD Province.
In July 1999 he arrived in Sydney, NSW and began the necessary preparations to work as a missionary in Australia.
In 2001 he started his mission working in the SVD Formation Ministry, as an Assistant Novice Master of Divine Word Missionaries in Epping, NSW.
In 2003 he I moved to the parish ministry in the Central Coast of NSW as Assistant Parish Priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Terrigal, Broken Bay Diocese.
In 2005 he moved again to another multicultural Divine Word parish – the Mary Mother of the Church Parish at Macquarie Fields, NSW in the Wollongong Diocese.
In 2008 he was asked to do some studies and prepared himself to work in the Formation House in Melbourne.
In 2009, he was appointed as the Formation Director of the SVD Formation House & for young seminarians at Dorish Maru College, Box Hill, Vic.
During his time in Melbourne, he was also tasked to look after the chaplaincy for the Indonesian Catholic Family in Victoria.
In July 2019 he was appointed Parish Priest of St. Mark’s Inala for a term of 6 years.
Fr Joseph was born in Saigon, South Vietnam in 1965, the 5th child of 7 children – two boys and five girls. Because of the Vietnam War Joseph and his oldest sister left Vietnam as refugees on a boat in 1979, to be eventually settled in California in 1980. The rest of his family arrived in 1990. Fr Joseph’s mother, who is 84, is still alive in California. Sadly however his father died 5 years ago.
Fr Joseph has a Bachelor Degree in Science and a Masters in Theology. He was ordained as a Divine Word Missionary Priest on the 23rd March, 1996 in Chicago after completing studies at the Catholic Theology Union in Chicago. Fr Joseph’s desire to become a priest began when he was a young man singing in the choir for the funeral of a widow who had no relatives. He saw the priesthood as a way to be with the people who are lonely and on the margins in society.
Fr Joseph’s first appointment as a Missionary Priest was to Australia. He has worked in Sydney, New Zealand and Melbourne before being appointed to the Inala parish in 2014. The Vietnamese Catholic community in Inala numbers around 3000.
Within the Inala parish there are many Vietnamese prayer and spirituality groups and the role of Chaplain is a very busy one. Fr Joseph believes that the opportunity to share in people’s lives through baptisms, weddings and funerals is the joy of his priestly vocation, and finds pastoral care very fulfilling. He is available in the parish for appointments on Mondays and Thursdays, and on Tuesdays and Fridays works from the Vietnamese Catholic Community Centre at 42 Lilac Street, Inala.
Bàng Nguyễn Peter, was born into a devoted Catholic family in Quảng Trường, Quảng Bình province, Vietnam. The youngest of eight children, he has three brothers and four sisters—one of whom is a nun.
Bang graduated from university in Đà Nẵng in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree of Accounting and Auditing. While studying, Bang met a Divine Word Missionary who worked with Catholic Students as a Spiritual Director and they talked a lot about religious and missionary life.
On returning to his hometown, Bang worked with the Coseveco Company for about six months as an accountant, however, the word ‘missionary’ kept appearing in his mind and heart. At the age of 23 Bang was accepted into the Divine Word Missionaries and moved to Saigon to begin his philosophical and theological studies. After two years of study, he was asked to undertake the Overseas Training Program to learn and experience another culture and language. In 2007, Bang was sent to Budapest and spent a year there, learning Hungarian and working in a Catholic parish.
In 2013 Bang gained his Bachelors degree in Theology and was ordained a priest in Vietnam. In February 2014 Bang came to Australia as a young missionary and completed one year’s formation for English language improvement and six months of pastoral experience at St. Gregory’s Parish in Doncaster, Melbourne. In November 2015 he worked at St. Maximilian Kolbe’s parish in Marsden as an Associate Pastor and Chaplain for the Logan Hospital, before receiving his appointment from Archbishop Mark Coleridge in February 2007 to work at St. Mark’s parish, Inala.
Bang feels very privileged to spend his time doing missionary work at St. Mark’s, fully believing that God’s Grace will help him with his ministry in our Parish.
Sister Elisabeth Hariyanti was born and brought up in East Java, Indonesia in a family of six.
She has been a Holy Spirit Missionary Sister (SSpS) since 1994 and loves being a Missionary Sister.
Sister Elisabeth was appointed to Australia in 2003, leaving her family and familiar friends behind to discover God in the “other”.
Since then she has been appointed to different places in Australia according to where the needs were.
Her Congregation with its Trinitarian spirituality helps her to feel connected with people of all different cultures and backgrounds and to reach out to them sharing God’s love and compassion.
In 2006, she went Tagaytay (Philippines) to do a one-year formation course. After her return in 2007, she was involved in the ministry of formation of her congregation in Sydney for six years.
In 2013, she went to Melbourne to do a full time Spiritual Direction course for one year.
Sister Elisabeth is always happy to open her heart and to listen to people – to their joys, struggles, and their spiritual journey.
Before coming to Inala, she worked for 5 years at the Janssen Spirituality Centre at Boronia, Victoria to build inter-faith and cross cultural relationships. This centre is a joint venture of the Divine Word Missionary Priests and The Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters.
While working at the centre, she also worked for three years in St. Joseph’s Parish Boronia as a part time pastoral worker.
While in Indonesia, her original profession was teaching and she also loves singing and music.
Aileen works in the Parish Office each Monday and also covers Joy’s sick and holiday leave.
Aileen has lived in St Mark’s Parish since 2000 and is married with 2 children. The eldest child is in Secondary School after completing his schooling at St Mark’s Primary and her youngest is still at St Mark’s School.
Aileen is also a leader of the Parish Group Sto Nino Devotees. This group organises an annual Filipino Mass celebration in honour of the child Jesus.