Timor Lesté Church commemorates 500 years

About 8,000 Catholics packed an open coastal area on the west side of Dili, Timor Lesté’s capital, to mark 500 years of the Church’s presence in the island nation.

The Aug 15 Mass was held at Tasitolu, the site of a 1989 Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II.

Catholics came from all over the island for the Mass, wearing traditional dress and displaying banners representing their dioceses, communities, schools and parishes.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the highest-ranking Church official to visit Timor-Leste since St. John Paul, was the Mass’s main celebrant, which took place on the feast of the Assumption of Mary.

At Pope John Paul’s Mass in 1989 Timorese youth unfurled banners protesting Indonesian rule.

The incident, one of the few times during the occupation that Timor Lesté had an international audience, was considered a seminal moment of the resistance.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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