2020-07-24 EAST TIMOR

A new Marist community established in Lautém

The Marist Brothers have been present in East Timor since 2000. In 2013, the Province of Australia suggested to UMBRASIL that they send Educators (Brothers and Lay Marists), with the intention of opening a new Marist school in East Timor, an initiative supported by the Government of this country. In 2018, Brothers Manoel Soares (Brasil Centro-Norte) and João Batista Pereira (Brasil Centro-Sul) arrived. While the project was being planned, the two brothers joined the other Marists to help in education, in the Catholic Institute (Brother Manoel) and in the formation of candidates for religious life (Brother João Batista). Finally, on the 4th July, the two Brothers were able to launch the new community in Lautém, where the new school will be built, on a piece of land donated to the Marist some time ago. Brother Manoel tells us what the first community experience in Lautém was like.

One of the initial proposals that formed part of the project to build a school in East Timor by the Province of Australia was that the missionary Brothers would live in Lautém, in the parish house, together with Father Joaquim, who played an important role in the search for a site for the construction of the school. However, the parish house did not have enough rooms to accommodate two or three brothers on a permanent basis.

Next to the parish house there was another building, but in very unsatisfactory conditions. When the Provincial of Australia, Brother Peter Carroll, visited Lautém, he saw the inadequate conditions of this construction, and he authorized a general renovation to welcome the future Marist community. The new structure has 6 rooms, a large living room, a dining room and a kitchen.

On the 4th July this year, Brothers João Batista and Manoel Soares were able to have their first community experience in this new residence, which belongs to the parish of Lautém, but which has been loaned to the Province of Australia for a period of seven years.

It is not yet a definitive community, since both brothers will continue their activities in Baucau during the second half of 2020. Brother João will continue to work in the house of formation, with the aspirants, and Brother Manoel will continue to give Portuguese classes in the Institute for Teacher Formation, at least until December of this year. However, the new house will allow both the brothers and the aspirants to have a place to go, during the weekends, to do pastoral work with the young people of this community.


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