East Timor

Call from the Bishop’s Conference

 

Through the Bishops’ Conference in 1988 in Jakarta, Mgr. Carlos Pilippe Ximenes Belo shared his concern about the situation of the people in East Timor. At that time 99% population were Catholic, and there was much suffering because of a difficult political situation at the hands of the Indonesian government.

Visit and decision

1988

In response to this concern, our Sisters felt called to answer this need, and in 1988 the Vice-Provincial Council went to East Timor and talked to the Bishop Belo. Then the Bishop gave Viqueque as a mission station area for the Sisters.

 

The first sisters

in Viqueque

1990

 

The first 3 pioneer Sisters arrived in Viqueque on July 1, 1990 and were warmly welcomed. The ministries of the Sisters were health care, care of orphans, and both formal education (Kindergarten to High School) and informal education. 

New community

in Dili

Since 1994, the Sisters also have a community in Dili. Here the Sisters take care of orphans and teach in a Kindergarten.

 

Price of Independence

 

Already for years this country has been in a difficult political situation. In September 1999 East Timor declared their independence from Indonesia, but this war for independence resulted in the loss of many lives, many buildings were destroyed, and many people sought refuge outside the country.

Confronted but

Trusting in God

Since our Sisters arrived in East Timor, they had already twice to leave the country because of the dangerous situation. But because of their faith, strong desire and spirit, as well their love for the people, the presence of our Sisters of the Indonesian Province continues in East Timor in Dili (Diocese of Dili) and Viqueque (Diocese of Baucau).

 

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