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Vatican helps East Timor with youth centre

A centre for the formation of young people has just been opened in East Timor, with the help of the foundation that supports the activity of Holy See's UN mission.

A statement last week from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said its president, Archbishop Renato Martino, recently launched the Dili centre.

The institute, entrusted to the Daughters of Charity, was dedicated to two of the congregation's members who were killed in 1999 in attacks by pro-Jakarta militias. They were Italian Sister Erminia Cazzaniga and Timorese Sister Celeste de Carvalho.

The centre was financed by the Path to Peace Foundation, established 12 years ago in New York by Archbishop Martino, to support initiatives of the Holy See's mission at the United Nations. It includes a professional institute and sports hall.

Archbishop Martino said at the opening that he hopes it will contribute to promote "a profound education of local young people in ethical and religious principles" so that they will resist "the forces that try to destroy the rich spiritual heritage of the Timorese people."

John Paul II sent a message with Archbishop Martino in which he recalled his visit to the island in 1989 and expressed the hope that "the Timorese people will go forward in their path of true freedom in the international community" and that East Timor "will be a country where justice and peace prevail."

Nobel Peace Prize winner Xanana Gusmao, president of East Timor, attended last week's opening. In June, he received the Path to Peace Foundation's award, for promoting peace and democracy.


East Timor: Formation Center Remembers Two Canossian Sisters Killed in 1999 (Vidimus Dominum)
Path to Peace Foundation | Mother Erminia Cazzaniga, FCC | Mother Celeste de Carvalho Pinto, FCC
President Xanana Gusmao: Acceptance of Path to Peace Award

23 Sep 2003