History of Gonzaga College

Gonzaga Senior High School (so-called Kolese Gonzaga) and Wacana Bhakti Minor Seminary are the two different educational institutions, however the two are closely related to each other. The two are inseparable under The Archdiocese of Jakarta.


The Wacana Bhakti Seminary is the Minor Seminary that accommodates and educates the candidates of the future priests. Therefore, all seminarians stay at the dormitory and they will be trained some special programs such as bible study, Latin, choir club after school. Meanwhile, the seminarians are also as Gonzaga Senior High School students during school hours and get the same teaching at school with other students (at grade X, XI, and XII).


The Wacana Bhakti Foundation initially was planned just only for a Minor Seminary at the Archdiocese of Jakarta (KAJ), but by in-depth consideration that the cost for the seminary would be too expensive, then it was needed to establish a high school for the public so as the school could support the operational funds. Nevertheless, Gonzaga Senior High School and Wacana Bhakti Seminary’s establishment could be inevitable.


The building of the Wacana Bhakti Seminary includes the seminarian’s dormitory, the chapel, the priest’s house, and the foundation office which occupies 2.8 hectares of land is located at Jalan Pejaten Barat 10 A South Jakarta, Indonesia. Now the building of Wacana Bhakti Seminary and campus of Gonzaga College looks so majestic and beautiful landscape with shade trees grow around it.


The dream of the congregations of Jakarta archdiocese to have a Minor Seminary actually has been long-awaited. Therefore, the strengths of all parishes were focused to implement its possession. Mgr. A. Djajaseputra started the purchase of land; consequently, the owner of the land was the Archdiocese of Jakarta on behalf of Mgr. A. Djajaseputra, SJ who was as Archbishop of Jakarta at that time.


However, an intention to establish a seminary was not as easy as turning the palm of the hand.  Mgr. Leo Soekoto, SJ (the successor of Mgr. Djajaseputra, SJ) started to form a small team to plan to build the construction of seminary and high school buildings. The submission of building permit to local government to establish the building has been started since 1978. After long-awaited years, its permit was issued in 1983. Nevertheless, Archbishop Mgr. Leo Soekoto SJ had appointed a little committee. The committee soon followed up and then worked hard, had collected a lot of funds, and had conducted a study to plan the construction. And finally, no more than two years (1986-1987), the entire Seminary’s complex, which was designed by Ir.Wanda Basuki was really completed.


On July 15, 1987, the Wacana Bhakti Seminary and the South Canisius High school (the first name of Gonzaga High School) started to receive both the seminarians and the high school students. One year later, it was necessary needed the existence of other names of South Canisius that could have the different characters of the school. Then the name of Gonzaga finally has been chosen to rename the name of the South Canisius College. The name of Gonzaga is taken from the Holly Saint, which is Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (see the brief history of St. Aloysius Gonzaga).


November 3, 1988, is a historic day for Gonzaga College. On that day the school was inaugurated by Mgr. Leo Soekoto, SJ along with Mr. Mochtar  Zakaria, the Mayor of South Jakarta. However, by the expertise of Father J. Drost, SJ, the first Rector and the first Principal at that time, who had really worked hard along with his staffs and his teachers, then for three years later, precisely on January 9, 1991, Gonzaga College could reach the good predicate by Education Ministry.


The efforts of educational development within Gonzaga College and Wacana Bhakti Seminary were continuously improved. In 1990-1991’s academic year, SMA Gonzaga started to receive girl students in order to give the feel of the youth to be reasonable men and women, especially for those as seminarians so as could grow normally. Even though the presence of girl students was rejected by some boy students but its policy was felt useful and finally all boy students accepted the presence of girl students. The presence of girl students was expected so as all seminarians were mature by the early education process and would not become awkward whenever they made friends along with women, especially in the field of priestly ministry later and could deal fairly for and with others regardless of gender. As for boy students, it should also be expected that they might have a reasonable association.


After P. J. Drost, S.J. (1987-1991), Gonzaga Senior High School was lead under the principle of  P. R. Murtisunu Wisnumurti, SJ (1991-1993), Br. Budihardjo, SJ (1993-2000), P. J Heru Hendarto, SJ (2000-2009), P. A. Hendro Subekti, SJ (2009), P. Sigit Widisana, SJ (2009-2011), P. Leonardus Evert Bambang Winandoko, SJ (2011-2018), P. Paulus Andri Astanto, SJ (2018-2022), and P. Eduard C. Ratu Dopo, SJ (2023 – now).