Three Loreto sisters to work in East Timor
The Australian Province of the Loreto congregation has recently taken the decision to send three sisters to East Timor early next year, initially working in a primary teachers college in Bacau run by Australian Marist Brothers.
Sisters Anne Kelly, Anne Byrne, and Diaan Stuart were chosen after 13 Loreto sisters attended a conference in Melbourne, entitled Co-operating with Timor-Leste: Ideas for Good Development Practice, organised by two universities and the Australia-East Timor Association.
Sr Kelly wrote in a report on the Loreto website that in opening the conference, the Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, observed that simply declaring a country an independent state does not make it one. Among the list of critical problems needing to be addressed, he cited the lack of capacity within the population as one of the most serious.
"We need to develop new ways of thinking of the people; to liberate their sense of oppression and lack of worth." Over five centuries of colonisation - by Portugal since 1512 and Indonesia since 1975 - have obviously shaped the way the Timorese view themselves and the world."
The Loreto participants gathered for a meal on the final evening.
"In reflecting on the experience, we noted that we had not only learned a great deal but had also 'unlearned' some things as well: an essential component in trying to understand another culture. In particular, the three of us who are preparing to live and work in Timor, were greatly encouraged by the large Loreto contingent at this conference, a clear sign that we are not going alone, but with the genuine interest and support of the Australian Province/"
The news page of the website also reports on a more recent visit to Loreto communities in Sydney and Adelaide of a Brazilian visitor, brought to Australia by the Marist Brothers, as part of a one month "immersion experience" prior to their joining the Brothers' East Timor mission.
Timor-Leste Conference - Anne Kelly (Loreto Online)
Timor L'Este Preparation : Visit of Brazilians to Sydney (Loreto Online)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
26 Aug 2005