After his homily at Mass, the Most Reverend Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, S.D.B., Bishop of Díli, Timor-Leste, addressed thousands of faithful, both locals and visitors. He read a decree to them, signed it, and thereby established our mission presence in Passabe, East Timor, as a new “quasi-parish”.

Friar Benedict BAEK, the Assistant General for the Federation of Asian Minor Conventuals (FAMC) was present at this event on behalf of the Order. From June 13-30, 2018, he had been conducting a canonical visitation to the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. in Indonesia. The Custos, Friar Maximilianus SEMBIRING, and dozens of friars from the Kefamenanu community, were also present.
The Bishop issued the decree on June 24, 2018, the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist. He first declared the “separation” of this missionary entity from its original parish of Oesilo. Then he established it as a new “quasi parish” (i.e. a community with all the faculties of the parish, even though it remains dependent on its mother parish. He went on to appoint Friar Corrado Hermenegildo Augusto NUNES, OFM Conv. as the new pastor and Friar Jose Alexander NITSAE FATU OFM Conv. as the associate pastor. At the end, the Pastor swore his oath of office.
There are 10,322 faithful in this new parish. The parish covers seven villages and many hectares of land.
After Mass, cake was cut, bottles of sparkling wine were opened and some doves were “liberated”. The celebration continued with dinner, dancing, and dances by the faithful.
It was only in September of 2017 that the presence of the Conventual Friars Minor was established here with a welcoming ceremony by the bishop, held in the same place as this latest celebration. The establishment of the presence in East Timor was mandated by a motion of the Ordinary Custodial Chapter held in July of 2017.
Currently, this presence is a filial house of the friary of St. Anthony of Padua in Kefamenanu (West Timor, Indonesia). It is a community of three friars: the above-mentioned Pastor and his Associate and Friar Lucianus Benediktus SUNY, a religious brother.

Friar Maximilianus SEMBIRING, Provincial Custos