On Tuesday 25 October, Louis Lamuri, Tony Harris, Dr Helen Sadumiano and Kay Corcoran departed Brisbane, via Darwin to spend time with the Missionaries of the Poor in Timor Leste.

One of the highlights of being with the brothers in Maliana (Timor Leste) was witnessing eight young men entering postulancy and receiving their habits after completing eight months of discernment and prayer. This was their first commitment to follow Jesus through the emptying out of themselves and devoting their lives to live and work among the poorest of the poor, to bring them hope, love and joy. It was a very moving ceremony commencing with Holy Mass and shared with over four hundred members of family, friends, other religious sisters as well as members of the village. We all enjoyed a wonderful array of food, prepared by the brothers and other community members. This was followed by music and dancing which added to the joyous celebrations.

Another highlight was journeying to Saburai where the monastery is being constructed nestled into the side of a mountain. The views over the valley from this site are breathtaking.

Whilst in Saburai, Doctor Helen held a medical clinic, seeing over 40 patients from nearby villages, and taking their medical observations. Notes for follow-up assessments or medication were kept for the brothers to continue the care of these patients.

Dr Helen’s husband, Edmon, met us on our return to Dili and we stayed with the Sisters of St Paul de Chartres for two nights before flying to Indonesia, again, via Darwin. In Dili, we climbed up 590 steps, praying through the Stations of the Cross, to the top of the hill on which stands a massive statue of Cristo Rei (Christ the Redeemer), a gift from the Indonesian Government to the people of Timor Leste. Magnificent views of the ocean and surrounding countryside were breathtaking and the climb was well worth the challenge.