CSIL Inaugurated Its New Science Laboratories and Welcomed Its New Director

August 6th, 2020 marks another important milestone for the Jesuit Education Project in Timor – Leste. On that day, Colégio de Santo Inácio de Loiola (CSIL) hosted two very important events: the inauguration of the CSIL Science Laboratories and the turn-over ceremony of the new CSIL Director. Father Joaquim Sarmento, SJ (Regional Superior of Jesuits in Timor), Father Isaias Abilio Caldas, SJ and Father Julio Sousa, SJ (the two newly ordained Jesuit priests), Mr. José Lobato (Country Director of Santos Ltd), His Excellency Mr. Fernando Hanjam (the Minister of Finance), local authorities, and parents of the students were there to inaugurate tha laboratories. CSIL students, CSIL alumni, and friends and families also participated enthusiastically in the event.

The events began with a thanksgiving mass presided by Fr. Isaias and concelebrated by Fr. Julio and accompanied by the Regional Superior and the other Jesuit priests. Fr. Roberto M. Boholst, SJ, the then Director of CSIL, delivered the homily expressing his gratefulness for the completion of the Science Laboratories and at the same time narrated a firm message to the students, parents, and benefactors on how a strong collaboration and dedication can make the school a better learning space for the students. “Our new Science Laboratories is realized because of our strong collaboration. Collaboration is the new norm. Our school is grateful for anything that we receive and we welcome anyone that wants to help because our aim is to do the best for others, for the future of our children. So, for all the students, I want you to use this laboratory competently to be competent citizens and faithful servants of God that contribute to the construction and prosperity of the country.”

The Ordination to the Priesthood of the Two Young Jesuits: The First Ordination in the Midst of the Pandemic

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On the 1st of August, 2020, Fundação Companhia de Jesus em Timor – Leste (Society of Jesus) celebrated the ordination to the priesthood of its two deacons, Rev. Isaias Abilio Caldas, SJ and Rev. Julio Antonio Sousa Costa, SJ. The ordination was held at the Nossa Senhora de Fatima Parish in Railaco. The ordination was held few weeks after the end of several months of lockdown period in Timor-Leste. There was a big turnout of people amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. The occasion gathered more than two thousand people including families, friends, clergy, religious sisters, and many honored guests who were also there to witness the ordination of these two young Jesuits.

More than two thousand faithful gathered outside the Church overcrowding the entire area in front of the Church. Families, friends, and honored guests gathered outside the Church facing the beautifully decorated altar under the extended tent set up to accommodate the participants. Clergies from different congregations were also there concelebrating with the principal celebrant, the Archbishop of Dili, Msgr. Virgilio do Carmo da Silva, SDB. It was truly an incredible and joyful moment for everyone especially for the families of the two ordinands who were there to witness this joyful and emotional celebration.

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The Fruit of a Longstanding Relationship between the sister parishes of St. Canice in Australia and Railaco in Timor-Leste


Among the many good fruits cultivated by the two parishes is Jesuit scholastic, Bonifacio Bano Lay Ribeiro SJ. This 23-year-old Railaco parishioner has just taken his first vows as a Jesuit. 

Bonifacio first experienced the St Canice / Railaco relationship as a child benefitting from the Children’s Feeding Program, and also studied and graduated from the Railaco Jesuit Secondary School, NOSSEF.

Railaco Parish in Timor – Leste and St. Canice’s Parish in Australia have cultivated a very fruitful long-distancerelationship since the year of 2004. St. Canice’s parish in Australia has been supporting the Railaco Jesuit Mission in various humanitarian and education programs such as Feeding Program, Clinic of Nain Feto Virgem Maria, mobile clinic, and NOSSEF high school. Throughout these years and through these programs, we can see the impacts and the fruits of this longstanding relationship.