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.
Fr Ho was born and raised in a traditional Vietnamese Catholic family. He entered St Joseph Minor Seminary of the Qui Nhon diocese in 1964. Seven years later, in 1971, he was sent to Da Lat city to study at the national Major Seminary ‘St Pius X Pontifical College’.
Fr Ho left Vietnam by boat in 1989 and spent two years in Galang, an Indonesian island reserved for Vietnamese refugees, before being accepted for Australia in 1991.
After seven months of resettlement in Australia, he joined the Society of the Divine Word in 1992, and six years later made his perpetual vows before being ordained to the priesthood on 5 December 1998, having waited for 34 years to be ordained to the priesthood!
Fr Ho’s first pastoral assignment was in New Zealand in 1999, where he served as an Assistant Priest in Upper Hutt and then Taita. In 2002, he was called back to Melbourne to be a Vice Formator at Dorish Manu College in Box Hill. During this time he undertook a two month course in Human Development in India. In 2003 he was appointed rector of the Ben Seng House in Boronia, and in 2006 transferred to Sydney to be the rector at the Marsfield Community, and also served as a member of the Provincial Council.
In February 2008 Father Ho was appointed Parish Priest at St Cecilia parish, Hamilton in Brisbane, and in April 2011 he transferred to Inala to serve as an Assistant Priest at St Mark’s with Fr Gerard Mulholland and as the chaplain to the Vietnamese Catholic Community in Brisbane. In September 2015 he returned to Sydney to work on the archives of the Order, and on 9th March 2020 once again was assigned to St Mark’s serving as an Assistant Priest to care for the Vietnamese Catholic parishioners of St. Mark’s 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.
Sister Sesilia was born in Kupang – a small but beautiful city on Timor Island in the eastern part of Indonesia.
The youngest of six, her childhood desire was to become a nun. In Primary School she was touched by the smiles, generosity and service of the sisters that came every weekend to help the priest with the Mass and to teach the children Sunday School.
Sister Sesilia joined the Holy Spirit Sisters on 20th August 2003 and professed her first vows on 2nd July 2008.
Before taking her final vows she had the opportunity to do ministry work in parishes and one primary school.
She also had a one year experience of living with children with disabilities in a boarding house that belonged to the Holy Spirit Sisters in Timor, Indonesia.
On 1st July 2017 Sister Sesilia professed her final vows and was appointed to work with other Holy Spirit Sisters in Australia.
She arrived in Melbourne on 11th January 2019 and stayed with other Sisters in the East Kew Community.
For one year she attended the English language Course in Box Hill, finishing last December.
Sister Sesilia arrived in Inala on 7th January for her new appointment to stay with Sr Elisabeth and to experience the parish life of St Mark’s Inala.
She feels that the warm welcome and acceptance that she has experienced from the parishioners of St Mark’s has given her a good sense that they are all her new family.
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.