Father Laurentius Tarpin, a former St. Thomas student, has been elected the 58th master general for the Crosiers, one of the oldest Roman Catholic orders of priests and brothers in the world.

The election of master general for the Crosier Order occurs every six years during its general chapter, which is the gathering of delegates from throughout the worldwide order. The delegates propose, discuss and finalize the strategic plan for the next six years. The master general, who operates out of Rome, implements those directives with the help of his councilors.

Tarpin is the first Indonesian and second non-European to hold the office.

“He is well-known among his confreres for his cheerfulness, his strong commitment for working, his good listening skills and his ability to bring together the voices of all confreres,” said a news release from the Crosiers.

Tarpin joined the Crosiers in 1988, made his first profession of vows Aug. 28, 1990, and was ordained to the priesthood June 26, 1996. Tarpin served as formator in the post-novitiate in Sultan Agung (Indonesia), has been a member of the council of the prior provincial in Sang Kristus, served as vice provincial, was a member of the planning committee for the 2009 General Chapter, and most recently served as prior provincial.

Tarpin holds a doctorate in moral theology from Alphonsianum in Rome and has served for several years as teacher and vice rector of Catholic Parahyangan University in Indonesia.

Tarpin was in the U.S. in 2002 to learn more about Crosier religious life. He studied at St. Thomas in order to improve his English language skills so he could better communicate at Crosier events, as English is the official language of the order.

St. Thomas has strong ties to the Crosiers through the American Museum of Asmat Art, which is housed on the university’s St. Paul campus. The American Crosier Fathers and Brothers began collecting Asmat art when they first arrived in Papua, Indonesia, in the 1950s. The collection, approximately 1,400 pieces, was donated to St. Thomas by the American Crosier Fathers and Brothers and the Diocese of Agats in 2007. Since then, St. Thomas has grown the collection to over 2,000 pieces and has permanent and temporary displays.

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