The parish of “Mary Mother of Carmel” Kasongan (hereinafter called parish Kasongan) was born prematurely, but survived. How could it be? Kasongan parish was inaugurated on March 23, 2006 without having its priory and church building. At that time there was only a small chapel in Tangkiling which was functioned as the temporary parish church. For the time being, Fr. Petrus Pahala Lumban Gaol O.Carm. and Rm. Marselinus Barus O.Carm. stayed in Palangkaraya (30 km from Tangkiling). They then build a wooden house in the area of the chapel of Tangkiling. They moved there temporarily since the real location of the new parish would be in Kasongan which is about 70 kilometers from Tangkiling.
After four years, the parish ministry moved to the new priory of the parish in Kasongan. On February 25, 2010 the priory was blessed and the parish community was inagurated. The parish church is still in the process of construction. The number of the parishioners is 910. It has 13 stations (10 of them are in the palm plantations). The closest distance beween the parish Church and the station is about 25 km, while the farthest is 170 km. Not many of the parishioners are active in the Church. Only few of them attend the Eucharistic celebration on Sundays.
At present time, the members of the Carmelite community in Kasongan Parish are Fr. Augustineus Suyadi, O.Carm (the parish priest and the prior), Fr. Yustinus Dwiyanto, O.Carm. (the assistant to the parish priest), Bro. Antonius Joko Merdiko, O.Carm (pastoral worker), and Bro. Charles Virgenius, O.Carm (pastoral worker). Their main concern now is building the parish church. In the meantime, the mass is held in the parish hall on the first floor of the priory (the hall can only accommodate 80 people). Therefore, for almost 6 years, Fr. Augustinus Suyadi, O.Carm. with the help of the others, works hard to raise funds to build the church.
Kasongan parish is the only Carmelite parish in Kalimantan. The Carmelite spirituality, which is characterized by: prayer, fraternity, living among the people, is always cultivated as the major pillar of the whole activities. The parish is dedicated to Mary Mother of Carmel and named after her. It is expected that the Carmelite spirituality will really color the life of the parish and of the people.