A New Dominican Mission in East Timor


The brothers of the Province of the Holy Rosary, Hong Kong have just reopened the Dominican mission in East Timor.

The Democratic Republic of East Timor is a small country in the Southeastern part of Asia which is largely made up of small islands. It has experienced political turmoil and was just declared a sovereign state in 2002. Having been colonized by the Portuguese, the country is predominantly Catholic.

Portuguese Dominican brothers were the first to open the mission in East Timor in the 16th Century. Now, two brothers from the Province of the Holy Rosary, Frs Rubén Martínez and Gerson Javier Nieto are going to rekindle the Dominican presence there. On January 16, at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Convent of St Dominic in Macao, the brothers were sent forth. They were accompanied by their Provincial, Fr Javier González who will spend some days with them in East Timor before returning to Hong Kong.

East Timor is still faced with numerous political and economic challenges, therefore this mission is not going to be an easy one for the brothers. They are expected to begin very humbly by living in a house without the basic necessities like water and electricity. They will be joining some Dominican sisters who are already there. They will certainly need the prayerful support of the entire Order as they begin this very important and at the same time difficult mission.