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First Tetum language New Testament translation arrives in Dili

Copies of the first ever translation of the New Testament in the East Timorese Tetum language arrived in Dili last week.

Fr Rolando Fernandez, a Filipino Salesian who works in Dili, worked on the translation over a period of several years.

"What a wonderful day!" he exclaimed while unpacking the container that transported the 30,000 printed copies to Dili.

The project was funded by a $35,000 grant from the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

Fr Fernandez said complimentary copies would be sent to all priests and religious communities in Timor, who would act as selling agents for the publication. The subsidy from Aid to the Church in Need has ensured they will be available at an affordable price. Profits will be used to reprint a mass guide and songbook.

Last year the charity also subsidised the reprinting of 10,000 copies of the Child's Bible in the Tetum language after many copies of the book were destroyed in the looting and burning of Dili in September 1999.

Aid to the Church in Need