1997-04-04 00:00:00

Former seminarians of East Timor´s Dili diocese have set up a socio-cultural foundation to honor a Portuguese missioner bishop who pioneered education in East Timor.

"Fundacao Bispo de Medeiros" (Bishop de Medeiros foundation) was founded to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Bishop Antonio Joaquim de Medeiros of Goa (then a Portuguese colony) whose jurisdiction also covered Timor.

The foundation, set up by an association of former graduates of Dili´s Our Lady of Fatima Minor Seminary, aims to continue the bishop´s work in cultural conservation and human resources development.

Before being appointed auxiliary bishop of Goa (now part of India), the missioner, who had a special interest in local culture and education, was vicar general for the Catholic mission in Timor.

Bishop de Medeiros died in Lahane, now in East Timor, in 1897, and his remains were kept in Dili´s St. Anthony Church.

The Bishop de Medeiros foundation also announced the formation of an East Timor cultural center to preserve local culture.

Former Our Lady of Fatima seminarian Salesian Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo officiated the opening of the foundation and its cultural center.

"I hope the cultural center will pay attention to folklore, legends, poems, traditional dances, and other cultural aspects of East Timor," Bishop Belo, apostolic administrator of Dili, the East Timor capital, told participants.

The Dili bishop also encouraged the foundation to study documents and literature related to "the pearls of mixed Portuguese-East Timorese culture," and to think about establishing a religious museum.

The 1996 Nobel Peace laureate bishop also urged the former seminarians to set up a scholarship fund for students from poor families.

According to Eugenio de Jesus Sarmento, an expert in East Timor culture, the center is a big step to help determine the cultural identity of East Timor.

"The cultural center is a realization of the Church´s hope to preserve local culture as expressed by Bishop Belo during the meeting of East Timorese leaders in Austria in 1995," Sarmento told UCA News.


Sign up to receive UCAN Daily Full Bulletin
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
© Copyright 2019, All rights reserved
© Copyright 2019, Union of Catholic Asian News Limited. All rights reserved
Expect for any fair dealing permitted under the Hong Kong Copyright Ordinance.
No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without prior permission.