From:   Fr EJ Gerilla SJ – Parish Priest of Railaco Jesuit Mission

To:       The people of St Canice’s


Our Shared Passion

In Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti, he encourages us “to recover the shared passion to create a community of belonging and solidarity worthy of our time, our energy and resources.”

For some of us, that passion has been there for quite a while already since the start of the “sisterhood” of the parish of St. Canice, Kings Cross and Our Lady of Fatima – Railaco back in 2004.

Over the years, the collaboration and the sharing of experiences, on top of the sharing of resources needed for the mission in Railaco, have been quite an enriching experience of our being a local church reaching out to one another overseas as good neighbors do.

There is shared meaning to all our efforts in responding to the great need of the disadvantaged people of Railaco.  The shared meaning of bringing joy, hope and love of Christ to the people of God is something we hope will never end.

Our countries have been reeling from the huge impact of this pandemic, and it is surely a difficult time for all of us.  Our situation of isolation, lockdowns, lack of free mobility and of fear and insecurities call us to find new ways we can support each other to be truly belonging to each other.

As we celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola in this blessed year of his jubilee of conversion, may we all be ignited once again with that shared passion as we see all things new in Christ.



Some Covid Updates from Railaco:

In God’s providence, Railaco has been spared so far from the high rate of outbreak of COVID-19.

Although we are close to Dili, where most cases are spreading, the border control between Dili and the province of Ermera where Railaco is located has been controlled efficiently.  But we also observe a relaxing on the borders recently as people are getting tired and desperate for food and basic supplies.

There seems to be no end in sight with the local outbreak here in Timor, but we are still optimistic that the aggressive effort of the government to inoculate the people with the vaccine, will yield favorable decline of the spread of the virus among communities in Dili and elsewhere.  As soon as Dili is back to normal, Railaco will also be much safer and freer.

As of writing, the school is still on-going, the mobile clinic and the feeding program are running as usual.  The pastoral activities are also rolling slowly with stringent imposition of the health protocols against COVID-19.

Your support with the masks we received from you and St Vincent’s Hospital in Australia is indeed very timely and very helpful.

From our end, we try as much as possible to provide for facilities for washing of hands and ensure distancing inside the churches, chapels, and institutions.

Fr Martin Bong SJ, Medical doctor and Jesuit Priest consulting on the mobile medical clinic
Photo Credit M Coyne

Children’s Feeding Program – tasty nutritional meals. Thank you, St Canice’s.



Students of Our Lady of Fatima Secondary School NOSSEF in Railaco wearing the masks donated by St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. Thank you, St Vincent’s.

Matthew Kearney, Director of Mission. of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney hands-0ver the masks to parish priest Fr Paul Fyfe SJ and Michael Musgrave