By Carmel Hayes
A YOUNG priest from Indonesia has joined the multicultural team of clergy in Portlaoise parish.
Fr Yulius Krisdianto Ebot, known as Fr Erick (pictured below), was introduced to parishioners in the 14 January edition of the parish newsletter this weekend, where he says it is “a great pleasure” to take up his first appointment in Ireland.
Under the guidance of parish priest Msgr John Byrne, Fr Erick joins Fr Ciprian Matei from Romania, Fr Simon Jin from China, Fr Adriano de Oliveira from Brazil and Deacon Eugene Keyes in the large and busy parish, which includes The Heath and Ratheniska.
A member of the Divine Word Missionaries or SVD (Societas Verbi Divine), Fr Erick was born in Manggarai-Flores, Indonesia in 1990, the second of three children and he was ordained in October 2019.
Writing in the parish newsletter, he says: “My parents are both alive, thank God and retired. My older brother has two children and so does my little sister. They live in Manggarai close to my parents’ home. My family has been a great support system for me.”
Fr Erick was only 18 when he entered the SVT noviciate and took his first vow two years later as a temporary member. As part of his formation, he spent time on an English course in the Philippines in 2015 and undertook an overseas training programme in Taiwan from 2016-2018.
After returning to Indonesia in 2018, he had his final profession as a member of the society of Divine Word Missionaries. After ordination, he worked in three different parishes and dioceses in Flores while awaiting a visa for Ireland.
He writes: “It was such an enriching and eye-opening experience for me as your priest. After three years waiting for the visa, on 6 July 2022 I came to this beautiful and lovely country. Before getting my appointment to Portlaoise, I did an English course for five months in Maynooth while acclimatising and learning more about this beautiful country.
“It is such a great pleasure for me to get my first appointment here in the parish of Portlaoise as curate, under the guidance of Msgr John Byrne and working with other fellow priests, all from different countries. I am really looking forward to work with you all.”