How Catholic order from the Philippines set up orphanage where sexual abuse occurred

By Margareth S. Aritonang
Jakarta Post
September 16, 2020

A screen capture of the Facebook page of the Blessed Sacrament Missionaries of Charity

Brother Angelo BSMC (second left, back row) poses with children in his orphanage.

The Philippines-based Catholic religious order the Blessed Sacrament Missionaries of Charity (BSMC) was largely unknown to the Indonesian public until one of its members, Lukas Lucky Ngalngola, calling himself Brother Angelo and later Geovanny, put the congregation on the map, and for all the wrong reasons.

Angelo allegedly abused orphanage boys under his care, sexually and physically. While the abuse against the boys who lived at the Kencana Bejana Rohani orphanage that Angelo set up in 2015 in Depok, West Java, was reported to the police in September last year, the crime was revealed to the public only very recently after victims and child protection activists spoke out in the media.

Collective efforts coordinated by the state-sponsored Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) are being made to prosecute Angelo after a lack of action taken against him brought state institutions in charge of child protection, including the KPAI, as well as the Catholic Church, into the spotlight. He was arrested by the Depok Police in September 2019 but was released three months later as the police failed to complete the dossiers for the prosecutor’s office to bring the case to court.

Angelo, a native of Tanimbar, an island in Maluku, is still at liberty. He has changed his name to Brother Geovanny, and set up a new orphanage a few months after his release, living among vulnerable boys again, as well as a few other BSMC brothers. In spite of all the allegations, which have never been dropped, he has requested that the BSMC be given a permit to work under the supervision of the parent institution from Palangkaraya diocese in Central Kalimantan so that he can conduct missionary work using the name of the BSMC in the area after being rejected by Bogor diocese.

On Sept. 19, 2019, five days after Angelo’s arrest, the Bishop of Bogor Paskalis Bruno Syukur issued an internal announcement declaring that BSMC was a questionable congregation because of a lack of legal documents and decrees required by the Catholic Church. Thus, according to Bogor diocese, Angelo was not a Catholic brother and therefore was banned from carrying out work on behalf of the church, emphasizing that any legal action against Angelo was solely related to him as an individual.

The decision made by Bogor diocese was kept internal until Angelo’s story became known to the public through an investigation undertaken by The Jakarta Post in collaboration with This prompted the KWI to issue its Sept. 7 circular.

The Bishop of Palangkaraya Aloysius Maryadi Sutrisnaatmaka confirmed that he received the circular on Sept. 7. He told the Post that he had a meeting two days later to talk about Angelo’s request for recognition and supervision, which had been submitted to Palangkaraya diocese under the name of Geovanny.

“We have decided to reject the BSMC,” Sutrisnaatmaka told the Post on Sept. 10.

Apparently, Angelo’s notoriety exceeds that of his congregation reputation as very little is known about the BSMC, including among priests and leaders of the Catholic Church in this country. KWI executive secretary Ewaldus, for example, spoke very briefly about the congregation in response to the Post‘s question about the BSMC. “You must find other priests who know about it [the BSMC] because I am totally in the dark,” he said via a text message on Sept. 9.

The BSMC has no official website that provides comprehensive information about its history, spirituality or its work either in the Philippines, where it is based, or elsewhere including in Indonesia, unlike other religious orders that are officially recognized by the Catholic Church. The very limited information about the congregation is available only through old blog posts that seem to be individually crafted, and through the congregation’s Facebook page that mostly presents photos of the members and their activities.


According to two posts available on internet sources that were accessible as of Sunday, the BSMC was originally called the Blessed Sacrament Missionaries of the Poor (BSMP). It draws on the compassion and charitable works of Mother Theresa of Calcutta in serving the poor. Headquartered in Binan City, the congregation has Brother Anthony Bautista as its leader. Angelo once claimed that Bautista was the “superior general”, the most senior leader of an order globally.

The website, which is said to relate to the diocese of Malolos in the Philippines, says that Bautista, who was then a “temporary professed member of the Missionaries of Charity”, a religious congregation established by Mother Theresa in 1950, started to develop a community that later became the BSMP in around March 1990.

It is unclear whether the Malolos diocese has recognized the BSMP or approves of its work in the area as the information available on the diocese’s website only mentions “though there was no formal declaration of the bishop’s affirmation of the suggestion [to build the BSMP community in the diocese], Bro. Anthony was instructed by the monsignor [Aguinaldo, a priest from a local parish, the first person whom Anthony met to seek approval to set up the intended religious community] to begin their aspirations already”. The diocese’s website also puts the BSMP in the category of “charitable institution” rather than “religious order” category. The Post could not reach the Malolos diocese for further clarification.

It is also unclear when the BSMP changed its name to the BSMC. According to a blog post, the congregation was still called the BSMP until 2015 when it first came to Indonesia.

BSMC leader Bautista, claimed to the Post via Skype call on Aug. 23 that the congregation had never been named the BSMP. “It [the BSMC] is the original name [of the congregation]. It has been the name [of the congregation] since the beginning,” he said.

Traces of BSMC in Indonesia

As an order for Catholic brothers, Angelo claimed the BSMC was introduced to Indonesia for the first time on March 10, 2015, when Angelo arrived in Depok. He told this story to Jakarta Archdiocese magazine, Hidup, last year. The website version of the two articles has been taken down since Angelo’s alleged crimes became public last month.



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