On May 21, 2021, there was an admission ceremony for four first-year novices in Timor Leste. In a Mass of thanksgiving the brothers expressed their gratitude to the Almighty God for His great love.
The Mass was presided over by Pastor Leonardo Dibya, SJ, and accompanied by Pastor Agustinus Mbaga, CMF as concelebrant. In his reflection, the priest invited the novices to try to build an intimate relationship with Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
The celebration was enlivened by a choir of the brothers of the community in Dili Becora and the community in Akanunu Hera. The admission was led by Brother Alfons Seran, novice master in Tomohon, Indonesia. On behalf of the Superior General, Brother Silvino Freitas Belo presented the cassock, the Congregational Cross and the Congregational Constitutions to the four new novices, who had earlier been blessed by Father Leonard.
There were not too many guests present because of the ban on gathering by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. There were only two brothers present from each community in East Timor. There were also some sisters from different congregations and a few Brothers FIC. Due to travel restrictions not all parents or families of the novices could be present. The parents of Brother Felix from Aileu represented the other parents. In his speech Brother Felix’ father said that they were grateful that the brothers guide and educate their children and that they hope they will be faithful to the end.
On behalf of the Brothers CMM, Brother Henrique de Fatima Marques spoke a word of thanks. He urged the new novices to pay attention to the balance between prayer life, work and study, and he also thanked Brother Cancio da Costa Gama for his willingness to accompany the postulants so far and to prepare them for the novitiate. Thanks also to Brother Silvino Freitas Belo, who will accompany the novices while they are still in Timor-Leste, waiting for a visa to go to the novitiate in Indonesia.
The four new novices are Natalino Martins Babo, Cipriano Saores, Avelino Maia Soares, and Felix Benevides Tilman. Brother Marcelino Martins started his first year novitiate already last year, but could not complete it due to Covid-19 measures that prevented him from travelling to Indonesia. He will start again together with the four new novices.