The New Water Facility in Matata Supplies Clean Water to 180 Households

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On December 30th, 2019, the community of Matata and the Jesuit Social Service (JSS) inaugurated the newly established water facility that was constructed through close collaboration between the people in the community themselves and the JSS team. The residents of Matata were very enthusiastic on that day to welcome the local authorities and the Director of JSS, Father Albino Gonçalves, SJ that was there also to bless the facility. Indeed, it was a celebration of contentment for the community to have clean water available near their houses, which means a life changing and a solution to 180 households that in the past had been struggling in getting clean water for their daily needs.

Before the establishment of the water facility, each and every household in the area struggled and found it very difficult to get clean water for their daily needs. For several years, the community of Matata did not have access to clean water supply. Also, given the long dry season, the community struggled so much in getting water for their needs. Many water sources and streams dried out and all the households could only get water from the stream down at the bottom of the hill that is far from their houses. One could not imagine how hard it was for all the houses to go and fetch water from only one source. Many elders, children, women and men had to line up every day to fill up their water containers to bring home for cooking and washing.

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Graduation of the Second Batch of Year 12 Of Colégio Santo Inácio de Loiola

IMG_0505 copy21 December 2019 marks another historic moment for Colégio Santo Inácio de Loiola (CSIL). It was the school’s second Year 12 graduation, with 109 students – 42 boys and 67 girls. The batch called themselves the “Caminheiros”. Present in the ceremony were the families of the graduates and some honorable guests which included the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Ms Dulcia de Jesus Soares, Former Prime Minister of Timor Leste and Commencement Speaker, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo, representative of Japanese Embassy, Seiko Toyama, and Regional Superior of Jesuits in Timor Leste, Fr Joaquim Sarmento, SJ, and other local authorities.

This momentous occasion was full of happiness and magnificence noticeable from the radiance of the smiles and enthusiasm of the graduates. Full of confidence and contentment they marched-in in their blue togas accompanied by their parents. The audience gave them a standing ovation which made the parents all the more proud of the achievements of their children, as well as a sense of fulfilment that they have contributed to their children’s success. One also cannot miss the joy and pride of the teachers manifested through their sparkling smiles as they marched in together with the students and parents.

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“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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