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.

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.

‘Upholding Fullness of Life on Earth’ in Railaco

‘Upholding Fullness of Life on Earth’ in Railaco sounds grand at first. But it’s anything but. This is one pillar in the Apostolic priorities of our sister parish in Railaco. Elaborating on tis, the parish priest, Fr EJ Gerilla SJ, tells us that ‘Some poverty in parts of the parish is beyond imagination’. Feeding children and providing a mobile medical clinic is part of the parish response to this. Education at the parish secondary school NOSSEF raises the bar to get rural kids a real chance in life, both academically and formed to be ‘men and women for others’.

Back to Railaco after 3 years

Fr Bong is still negotiating impossible roads to take the mobile medical clinic to communities without medical services from the government. At a far distant village, we parked under a tree, and Fr Bong consulted with 80 mothers and babies in an old tin shed, also used as a church. Across the way, the government clinic stands shuttered—no medicines for the people! Our continuing support is crucial.

NOSSEF 20th Anniversary Video

Fr. Hyoe Murayama SJ Director of NOSSEF shares a special video marking the 20th anniversary of the Secondary School in our sister parish of Railaco. It highlights the St Canice’s connection, and the foundational role that so many of our parishioners, past and present, have played. Thank you.