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Railaco – Our Sister Parish in East Timor

Railaco – Our Sister Parish in East Timor2020-08-12T22:20:56+10:00

While the wider Jesuit community in East Timor is ‘nation-building’, we at St Canice’s have been making what is seen by the people in Railaco as a monumental commitment to their welfare, healthcare, nutrition, and educational needs of their children since 2004.

We would like you, our St Canice’s Community, to better understand the activities in Railaco that are supported by your generosity. Through your largesse we can continue to fund a feeding program for babies and young children, a mobile medical clinic that visits remote communities, and eleven specially-trained teachers at the secondary school.

The annual funding for these programs is approximately $70,000.  In the fifteen years since inception of the special relationship, the St Canice community has raised in excess of $800,000.

St Canice’s has made the sure foundation with Railaco Jesuit Mission

Upon withdrawal of the Indonesian Occupation Forces at the turn of this century, the East Timorese people were left without any government, teachers, doctors, civil servants, and any form of enterprise. Not only scorched earth, but the East Timorese people were left with virtually nothing.

In creating a sister parish relationship with the Railaco Jesuit Mission in 2004, St Canice’s joined the East Timorese people on their long road to building better lives by creating opportunities and bringing hope. This was done through supporting a Children’s Feeding Program, a Mobile Medical Clinic, and a Secondary School.

In effect, in 2004, we planted an acorn and continued nurturing it through to the present day. Now, we can see a beautiful oak, with many branches – branches supporting more developments that will improve the lives of the families of Railaco and give them hope for a brighter future. New donors are stepping-up to fund these additional developments.

The humanitarian works of the Railaco Jesuit Mission continue. St Canice’s remains committed to supporting the daily ‘bread and butter’ requirements of the Mission; ensuring that children receive a nutritious meal, families see a doctor, and students receive the best secondary education. At the same time, other donors are funding new growth opportunities.

St Canice’s has laid this sure foundation. And we thank you all for your ongoing support.

August 2022

St Canice’s raise over $1 million for Railaco

Thank you to the incredible generosity from the Sydney based Jesuit parish, St Canice, who has been a phenomenal supporter and companion to its sister Parish in Railaco, Timor-Leste since 2004. During their recent St Ignatius Feast Day appeal, St Canice’s was able to reach a significant milestone of raising over $1 million for Railaco – thanks to 18 years of commitment and steadfast support from the St Canice’s community. “St Canice community, thank you! You found us at our rock bottom and you lifted us by feeding our hungry, providing service for our sick, and providing education to our youth! Thank you and God bless you for following Him in the mission," said Fr Bong Abad Santos SJ, who runs the mobile medical clinic in Railaco.

Generosity beyond bounds – Thank you.

Fr Bong writes to us from Railaco: St Canice community, thank you! You have made us millionaires! We are your poor sister community that by God's grace made rich! Our relationship goes back to 2004 when you found us at our rock bottom and you lifted us by feeding our hungry, providing service for our sick, & providing education to our youth!  Thank you & God bless you for following Him in the mission!!!

“That’s My Daddy”

My life changing Railaco Experience by Dan Elias . . . Thank you, Fr Sacha. Good morning and thank you for welcoming me into your beautiful parish to share what were incredible and humbling experiences on my recent visit in Railaco, Timor-Leste. Being a proud father of two young children, I look at life not only through my eyes, but with my children’s future in mind. Returning from Railaco, I say to them: “Alessandra and Jayson, Daddy’s eyes and heart were opened beyond belief. I now wish to show you how to live your lives with your eyes wide open. Don’t be ok with just being fortunate and comfortable, learn to make your small contribution to those who so desperately need it.”

Celebrating Ignatius and Railaco Jesuit Mission at St Canice’s

Celebration, flags, colour, music and mingling at St Canice’s on the Feast Day of St Ignatius inspires a sense of ‘Festa’. Freshly cut banana trees on the columns and at the doorways of the church bring a sense of Railaco to our doorstep here in Elizabeth Bay. Fanfare of organ, trumpet and violin introduce our Entrance Hymn, ‘Christ is Made our Sure Foundation’. It reminds us of the ‘sure foundation’ St Canice’s laid in establishing our sister parish relationship with the Railaco Jesuit Mission 18 years ago. Most importantly, Fr Sacha Goldman SJ celebrates the Eucharist with a gentle dignity. That prayerful act – whether richly involved like today, or simple – is the centrepiece of all that we hold dear.

July 2022

Planting seeds of hope for the future of East Timor

. . . Education is one of the most important things for the present and the future of the Timorese people.  By donating money, you are planting seeds of hope for the future of this country. Don’t forget that. You are proclaiming the gospel of solidarity and generosity for the faith of our young Catholic generations. Thank you for your prayerful support and concrete financial help. The people of Railaco need not only money, but also love and attention from people from far away.

Nossef is the start of something Big

You, all of us at St Canice’s, are part of something so big at our Railaco secondary school. Through their Jesuit education, and as part of our involvement, students at Nossef gain not only an enriching understanding of knowledge that comes from textbooks, but also from life experiences, like adapting to a culture, embracing failure, living a balanced life, and relating with people from different ages and backgrounds.