The celebration of 40 Years SVD-SSpS in Timor Leste culminates on the 140th Foundation Day of SVD. The celebration took place on Tuesday, 8 September 2015 at St. James’ Parish in Hera-Dili, Timor Leste, at 4pm.
The event began with a welcoming ceremony and presenting a garland around the main celebrant, SVD’s and SSpS’ mission pioneers, as well as other special guests with a traditional welcoming dance called Bidu.
In addition, the Eucharistic celebration was also celebrating 40 Years of Fr. Lazarus Mau, SVD, in religious life, 25 Years of Sr. Imaculada de Almeida, SSpS, in religious life, and the solemn profession of three SSpS sisters: M. Anita, SSpS, Lucia Bata, SSpS dan Elsa P. Soares, SSpS.
The Eucharist was wonderfully participated by a choir group led by Fr. Yohanes Suban Gapun (Mission Secretary SVD-TLS), with Fr. Gabriel Suban Koten, SVD - Regional SVD Timor Leste - as the main celebrant, and around 80 religious and diocesan priests as co-celebrants. In his homily, Fr. Gabriel emphasised the main focus of the celebration was not to count our successes nor failures in our 40 years of mission, but rather, to thank God who has accompanied the journey of SVD-SSpS in these 40 years in Timor Leste.
There were 1000 guests attending the Eucharist from various parishes and community groups where SVD and SSpS are working in Timor Leste. Following the Eucharist, both of SVD and SSpS regional leaders, the mission pioneers from both congregations and other special guests, took the honour to cut the cake. The celebration was then concluded with a shared meal with all of the participants and a series of cultural performances which had been prepared by the committee. (Fr. Kasmir Nema, SVD)