East Timor – The First Salesian community celebrates 70 years

24 April 2018

(ANS – Fuiloro) – Don Bosco Fuiloro rises on 145 hectares of agricultural land in the Far East of East Timor, the first Salesian Boarding school after the second missionary expedition landed in 1946. Due to bad roads, it takes at least 6-7 hours from the capital Dili to reach this remotest presence in East Timor. With 70 years of history, thousands of former boarding students, this Dom Bosco ETA (Escuela Agricola Tecnica) school has faced many challenges.

It was twice discontinued: once for the country's turbulent social and political situation (1975-1988), and more recently (2015-2017) for a number of external reasons. Don Bosco Fuiloro Alumni can be found in any part of Timor, serving their country in many important roles.

The SDB community consists of Rector Fr. Transfiguracão Antonio Pinto, 3 priests, one Salesian Brother and two practical trainees, and is the core animating nucleus of the large Educative-Pastoral Community with the Agricultural School (200+ students, boys and girls), High School (1000+ students), services to the Salesian Family (Fuiloro FMA community is 1 km away, Don Bosco Alumni and ADMA). It is also involved in pastoral ministry to the many chapels of the nearby Los Palos (SDB) parish.

The large agricultural compound serves partly as the training ground for ETA students and agriculture. There is also a huge challenge of sustainability of the mission in Fuiloro. There is a small pig farm and a cow and buffalo farm. Many of the infrastructures from the time of the Portuguese are in dire need of renovation or complete reconstruction, so the community prays for help and support from overseas agencies.

In spite of the not-so-favourable economic situation (no current subsidies from the government) the lay mission partners are very dedicated to their job as teachers and instructors. The community is very grateful, especially to the ongoing support from the Australian Salesian Mission Office (ASMOAF, Executive Director Br. Michael Lynch, SDB).

The boarding school with its daily Eucharistic celebration is also a fertile ground for vocations; this year, a Grade 12 student joined the Los Palos prenovitiate and the vocation tradition is very much alive. At present there are three aspirants in their 'live in' experience – a combination of study and assistance. Another community of Los Palos (7 SDB, 25 prenovices) is located just 30 minutes away by car, and there is much mutual support.

Fuiloro Don Bosco, with its 70 years long history, goes ahead, despite the many challenges, to the benefit of the poor rural youth of East Timor.

Source: AustraLasia


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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