History of Gonzaga College

Gonzaga Senior High School (so-called Kolese Gonzaga) and Wacana Bhakti Seminary are the two different educational institutions, however the two are closely related to each other. The two are inseparable unite in one institution within Wacana Bhakti Foundation.

The Wacana Bhakti Seminary is the Minor Seminary that accommodates and educates the candidates of the future priests. Therefore, all seminarians stay at dormitory and they will be trained some special programs such as bible study, Latin, choir club after school. Meanwhile, the seminarians are also as Gonz students during school hours and get the same teaching at school with other Gonzaga 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 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, include 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 built the construction of seminary and high school building.The submission of building permit to local government  to establish the building has been started since 1978. After long awaited for years, its permit was issued on 1983. Nevertheless, Arcbishop Mgr. Leo Soekoto SJ had appointed a little comitte. The comitte soon followed up and then worked hard, had collected a lot funds, and had conducted  study to plan the construction. And finally no more than two years (1986-1987), the entire Seminary’s complex, wchich 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, that 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 a long 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 was continuously improved. On 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. Eventhough the presence of girl students were 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 were expected so as all seminarians were mature by the early of 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.

Under the leadership of both Father R. Murtrisunu Wisnumurti, SJ (1991 to 1993) and Brother. Budihardjo, SJ, (1993 to 2000), a time to improve a variety of development both physical and character building. The student got new facilities and infrastructure to exercise an appropriate hiking with setting a wall climbing.

Father J. Heru Hendarto SJ (2000 to 2009) came to replace Brother Budihardjo, SJ to lead the College. The high technology as a media of teaching-learning process was improved and the physical arrangement of school was developed. Inappropriate laboratories that were felt out of date, soon rebuilt so that they are now available laboratories; the physics laboratory, the biology laboratory, the English language laboratory, the library are some examples of his effort. Father Heru also improved all computers to be more sophisticated, and offered the dance room, improved the audio-visual, and rebuilt the hall expansion. The school has also made the beautiful garden and it really makes the campus of Gonzaga to be so beautiful. The school created the green environment of Gonzaga. The beauty of the park and green campus were made in order to make Gonzaga became conducive place to make a learning community. It means that the  teaching and learning process at school is pleased. Similarly, the library has been also developed by the increasing number of book collections per year, which are very quite significant.

However, in July 2009, Father Heru Hendarto, SJ moved to Canisius College as the new school principal there. Thus, the leadership of Gonzaga College became vacant and awaited new school principal. The appointment of Father A. Hendro Subekti, SJ as school Principal at Gonzaga College (August to November 2009) had also given a new paradigm to boy students. He challenged all boy students to step up a number average of the book report from 70 to 80 as a condition for a boy student could be permited to have a long hair. But no more than one semester of his leadership, the position of school principal was replaced by Father A. Sigit Widisana, SJ (2009 to 2011). Under the leadership of Father Sigit Widisana, it was felt a requirement of character building in every student. His experience as Vice Principal of student affairs at Gonzaga College (1998 to 2001) made him really understand about habit of Gonzaga students. Self-discipline, self-confidence, and spirit of study become his attention seriously. As the result of his leadership, for one example, all the 12th students were well graduated. In the early of academic year 2011, Father Sigit Widisana,SJ was appointed out for new responsibility at Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia.

In July 2011, Father Leonardus Evert Bambang Winandoko, SJ, M.Ed. (called as Father Koko) becomes school Principal (up to now). He was  graduated from Gonzaga College on 1994 who as the first alumni of Gonzaga serves as the school principal. The spirit and the soul of Gonzaga are easy in him to develop the characteristic of Gonzaga: proud, joy, and involvement (wherever and whenever they appear). Father Koko is going to continue and develop programs for the advancement of Gonzaga College. The Internet programs, backward design’s curriculum included in the e-learning have been implemented. The school administration has also focused on its development. Global insight linking of Gonzaga College with other colleges around the world begin to get attention. All improvements should be viewed in the context of the Church in the Arch-diocese of Jakarta and the province of Jesuit in educational context of Indonesia.