Loading...

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 2020

Welcome to E J Gerilla SJ, new parish priest of Railaco

I look on this relationship as an experience of a being part of a 'missionary church', a church in which we are sent. In many ways you have expressed that you are this 'missionary church' reaching out to a less privileged people, and especially to the Timorese. We are committed to making this relationship even more meaningful, and in return we like to share with you our prayers and those of the Timorese people.

June 2020

Railaco – Re-emerging from Covid-19

The first two minutes of this video will update you on how the Railaco Jesuit Mission is emerging from the Covid-19 lockdown and its ongoing needs. The remaining few minutes of the video gives you a good opportunity to ‘meet’ Fr Martin Bong SJ, a Filipino medical doctor and Jesuit priest, who has been ‘on mission’ in Railaco for nearly twenty years.

April 2020

Farming and Leadership in Railaco – ‘True Grit in Spades’

Some years ago, the Jesuits were offered ten hectares of land about seven kilometres from the school. In October of 2019, taking the initiative and drawing on his family background in agriculture, Br Apu was able to organise the ‘dormers’ (as they are affectionately known) to begin work on a farm. This would provide food not only for the ‘dormers’, but for the Railaco Jesuit community, and other students in the NOSSEF canteen.

December 2019

2019 Christmas Blessings from Fr Bong

Fr Bong, from our sister parish at the Railaco Jesuit Mission in East Timor sends us his Christmas Blessings and a message of thanks to all of us for our ongoing support. The message goes on to say: “Here in Railaco, we try to spread love through our works of charity. And right now, we’re doing it with YOUR help, the people of St Canice’s. YOU are with us in MISSION.”

September 2019

A better understanding of our relationship with Railaco

Parishioner of St Canice's, Michael Musgrave, has been closely linked to the sister parish relationship at the Railaco Jesuit Mission in East Timor. In 2019, the first-ever 'immersion' tour of St Canice parishioners and two people from Jesuit Mission Australia went to Railaco to get to know their 'neighbours' better.

August 2019

Railaco – Our Timor Neighbour

By being friends with our neighbours in Timor Leste, we become equals. We are not the givers and they the takers. We can sit together in conversation and connection, often with nothing more than a wink, a smile, a knowing look. We can inspire each other as friends do, help each other as friends do, love each other as friends do. We are challenged to move the discourse away from ‘helping’ to ‘empowering’, from ‘feeding’ to ‘eating’, from ‘teaching’ to ‘sharing knowledge’ , from ‘watching’ to ‘noticing’. We can then find common ground where our hearts beat to the same rhythm, just like it does in motherhood, dance, song and smiles – all of which are universal experiences.