Loreto sisters arrived in East Timor in 2006, seeking to respond to the Gospel by ‘going where the need is greatest’. They live and work in two communities, one in the larger centre of Baucau and the other in the village of Gari-uai.
Sister AiThien is the director of ‘Centro Loreto,’ a pre-school and community centre that supports and encourages the development of local teachers who, each year, provide quality education for 70 young children.
Sister Margie recently returned to Australia after years of ministering to the health and spiritual needs of many people who live in more remote areas of Gari-uai. She responded to health needs by organising visits from the local clinic or by driving people to the hospital in Baucau. She also visited the sick and elderly, bringing them the Eucharist and praying with them.
In Baucau, both Sisters Margaret Mary and Selvi live and work with young Timorese women wanting to become Loreto Sisters. There are currently seven pre-candidates learning English and coming to understand what is involved in being a religious sister. One young woman has been a candidate for a year and hopes to begin her novitiate in the middle of this year. Another three candidates from East Timor are currently studying in Manila, Philippines.