“Laid in a manger, He became our food”

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Beloved brothers and sisters,

This beautiful symbolism is an expression of St. Augustine from his Sermon (189, 4). Holy Father Pope Francis refers to it in his letter ‘Admirabile Signum’ on the meaning and importance of the Nativity Scene. The Holy Father sent out this letter on the first day of Advent during his visit to Greccio where St. Francis of Assisi first started the tradition of the presepium or nativity scene in 1223.

“Laid in a manger, He became our food.” The Eternal Word of God humbled Himself out of compassion for humanity so that all the creatures who lives in death may regain life in His divine love. This generous self-emptying of God is the source of our salvation and of our expressions of charity. The year 2019 is a year of living and witnessing this spirit for the Jesuits in Timor Leste.

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Judicium of Candidates for Graduation, Pioneer Students of ISJB 2019 “To Be Men and Women For and With Others”

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30 November 2019 marked a historic event in the history of Instituto São João de Brito (ISJB). It was the celebration of the Judicium of the 14 pioneer teacher-trainees who began their education at the inception of ISJB in 2016. Present in the occasion were Fr. Antonio Moreno SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP), Fr. Brian McCoy, SJ (Provincial Superior of Australia), Fr. Renzo De Luca, SJ (Provincial Superior of Japan), and Fr. Primitivo Viray, SJ (Provincial Superior of Philippine). The Jesuits in East Timor, headed by Regional Superior Fr. Joaquim Sarmento, SJ, also welcomed friends, mission partners, and guests which included Dr. Aurelio Guterres, Dr. Fernando Hanjam, Mr. and Mrs. Dennis and Kerry O’Brien, Ms. Margaret Lu, and Fr. Trung Nguyen SJ, Ms. Helen Forde, and Ms Siobhan Jordan of Jesuit Mission Australia. Finally, in behalf of the region and ISJB, Fr Sidelizio Pereira, SJ, Rector of ISJB, welcomed the pioneers, their parents, family, and friends who came to witness the achievements of their sons and daughters.

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Railaco Festival : Traditional Food Bazaar and Musical Concert “Closing of the Bible Month”

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From September 28 to 29, 2019, the parishioners of Railaco closed the Bible month with traditional food competition and bazaar, musical performances, and traditional dances from various groups in Railaco. The competitors of the event were mainly groups from eight of the twelve chapels of Nossa Senhora de Fátima Parish in Railaco: Delesu, Cocoa, Samalete, Matataria, Railaco-Kraik, Fatuquero, Tocoluli, Railaco Centro. The community of Railaco were also happy to have the students from Universidade da Paz (UNPAZ), Universidade Oriental Timor Lorosa’e (UNITAL) who are doing their social and community works in Railaco and as participants in the said event.

Since it was the closing of the Bible month of September, the event was organized by the parish to gather everyone especially the young people to reflect on the roots of the Catholic faith in Timor and promote the cultural values of this nation. A series of talks were given by the Regional Superior of Jesuits in Timor-Leste, Fr. Joaquim Sarmento, SJ, Fr. Venâncio Pereira, SJ, and the Chief of the Police in Railaco. Fr. Joaquim highlighted the three important things of the roots of the faith of the Catholics in Timor-Leste: Holy Scripture, Magistery, and Tradition. Fr. Venâncio shared his thoughts on the cultural values of the people of Timor-Leste and its integration with the traditional and spiritual values of the Catholic church. The chief of the police in Railaco also encouraged the youth of Railaco to be more active in their life to do good, foster a spirituality and also to get away from trouble. Hence, involving the youth in events like this will contribute to the prosperity and peace of the country.

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