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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September 2019 marks the 20th death anniversary of Jesuit priests: Fathers Tarcisius Dewanto, SJ and Karl Albrecht Karim, SJ along with other priests, nuns, seminarians, and lay people who shed their blood for the country. Their love and courage will be remembered to inspire our young people.

September 2019 is also a historic year for the Jesuits in remembering their two brothers and priests, Fr. Tarcisius Dewanto, SJ and Fr. Karl Albrecht, SJ, that were killed because of sacrificing themselves to protect those who were suffering from brutality and violence and fled their homes and families. Their deaths signify a meaningful lesson and revive in our hearts the spirit of love and sacrifice for others. Their friends and families will always be remembering the love and courage that they gave to others especially the Timorese people who found a safe haven in their arms times of hardship and suffering. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.

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Raising a Jesuit Priest

IMG_8768 copyOn Saturday morning, July 27th, 2019, was the day that marked another achievement for the community of Metinaro and also for the Society of Jesus in Timor – Leste. It was the priesthood ordination of Deacon Roberto Madeira Encarnação, SJ in Our Lady of Grace Parish of Metinaro, an outskirt village of the capital city, Dili. A crowd more than a thousand people – the community, families of Deacon Roberto, Jesuits, religious, lays, pastoral groups, local authorities, and all the guests who were present that day gathered to celebrate the ordination.

The celebration of the ordination mass preceded with a cultural moving ritual followed by turning over by the family their beloved son to the Society of Jesus and the church as represented by the Superior, Fr. Joaquim Sarmento SJ. In a unique way, as part of the Timorese culture, Roberto was wearing his white robe but also fitted with a traditional headdress with Kaibauk and also a Tais, a very typical Timorese traditional clothing, wrapped around his waist.

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