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First community in Timor Leste celebrates 70 years

By Our Own Correspondent

Fuiloro, Timor Leste, 18 April 2018 -- Don Bosco Fuiloro is located within 145 hectars of agricultural land in the Far East of East Timor (Timor Lorosa'e) as the first Salesian Boarding school after the second missionary expedition landed in 1946. Due to the bad road situation, it takes not less than 6-7 hours from the capital Dili to reach this remotest presence in Timor Leste.

70 years of history, thousands of former boarding students, this Dom Bosco ETA (Escuela Agricola Tecnica) school was going through many challenges, discontinued twice: first due to the turbulent social and political situation (1975-1988) and then recently (2015-2017) due to many external reasons. Don Bosco Fuiloro Alumni can be found in any part of Timor, serving their country in many important roles.

Six SDB strong community (Rector Fr. Transfiguracao Antonio Pinto) with 3 priests, one Salesian Brother and two practical trainees is the core animating nucleus of the large EPC looking for the Agricultural School (200+ students, boys and girls), High school (1000+ students), services to the Salesian Family (Fuiloro FMA community is 1 km distance, Don Bosco Alumni and ADMA), involved in pastoral ministry to many chapels of the nearby Los Palos (SDB) parish.

The large agricultural compound serves partly as the training ground for the ETA students and for subsistancy agriculture. There is also a huge challenge of sustainability of our mission in Fuiloro. At present time there is small scale piggs and cow & buffalos farm. Many of the Portuguese time infrastructures are in dare need of renovation or complete reconstruction, so the community is praying for any possible help from oversea agencies.

In spite of the not-so-favourable economic situation (no subsidy from the government at present time) the lay mission partners are very dedicated to their job of 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 a daily Eucharistic celebration is also a fertile ground for vocation; also this year one 12 grade 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 - combination of study and assistance. Another community of Los Palos (7 SDB and 25 prenovices) is located just 30 minute driving distance, there is a variety of mutual support.

We congratulate Fuiloro Don Bosco for their 70 years long history, going ahead with so many challenges for the benefit of poor rural youth of Timor Leste!














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