The Word of God is at the heart of the Church’s mission, which Christians announce and give to the whole world, as a message of salvation for humanity: it is with this spirit that the Catholics of East Timor live the Extraordinary Missionary Month, announced by Pope Francis for October 2019, placing the Word of God at the center of their spiritual life and their witness.
In particular, the Jesuits, who have a stable presence in East Timor and various activities in the field of education, have invited Catholics to read the Bible, as reported to Fides News Agency by Fr. Joaquim Sarmento, Regional Superior of the Jesuits in East Timor. “We encouraged the faithful to read the Bible daily in the family, in order to become aware and deepen their mission more and more and conceive missionary work in the light of the Bible,” he added.
In the Extraordinary Missionary Month, the faithful were called to “reflect on the roots of the Catholic faith in Timor and to promote evangelical values in the culture of this nation”.
In biblical and missionary seminars organized in different parishes, during the month of Missionary Month, Fr. Sarmento highlighted three important elements of the roots of the faith of Catholics in East Timor: Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium and Tradition. During the seminars, young people were encouraged to “be more active in their lives to do good, to foster spirituality and also to keep troubles and problems at due distance”. “Young people will contribute to the country’s prosperity and peace,” he said.
Biblical meetings and seminars were also held at the Universidade da Paz (UNPAZ), managed by the Jesuits, and at the Universidade Oriental Timor Lorosa (UNITAL), and many Timorese youth and students took part “with joy and enthusiasm”, said Fr. Sarmento.
In particular, in the parish of Railaco, youth groups, sensitized on the theme of the Missionary Month, “Baptized and sent”, “expressed their thoughts and talents”, thanks to the guide of the parish priest, Fr. Joseph Phoung, SJ.
In the special “Parish Festival”, lived in recent days in Railaco, what was stressed was that “the prosperity and peace of the country depend on the younger generations, who are eager to take part in something bigger, and offer their lives and their energies to announce the Gospel of Christ to others”.