Cailaco (East Timor). On 13 August 2022, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in Cailaco, East Timor, a “prayer garden” was inaugurated with a statue of Mary Help of Christians.

At the beginning of 2022, the population of the village of Cailaco wanted to donate land for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Province of St. Mary D. Mazzarello (TIN) to erect a monument in gratitude to Mary. The FMA have been working in that area for 14 years and now, at the request of the Bishop, they are building a house to welcome the girls who come down from the mountains to attend school and live alone in very precarious huts, with the relative inconveniences and dangers.

The FMA therefore decided to celebrate the culmination of the initiatives of the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute precisely in that place, where people wanted a perennial reminder of the presence of Mary. When the population became aware of the decision to celebrate in their village, they got involved with the authorities and the various groups to organize the feast.

The entire population was present at Holy Mass and the blessing of the “prayer garden to Mary Help of Christians, as the place was named.

For the Eucharistic celebration, the Bishop of the Diocese of Maliana, Msgr. Norberto do Amaral, was invited who, despite his precarious health, was happy to preside over the Holy Mass and the blessing of the “garden”. The civil and religious authorities who intervened, thanked the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, present and past, for the collaboration and sharing of life with the people and for the search for the good of the young people of that place.

The Bishop and Sr. Alma Castagna, Provincial of the TIN Province, said that the presence of the statue of Mary Help of Christians is an invitation to prayer, to entrust each other’s life to Mary and her Son, and also a commitment to imitate Her in Her attitudes.

The feast concluded with a meal offered to all those present and with a brief show.  All those present at the inauguration left with a certainty: now Mary cannot be left alone in this place…nor Her Daughters!


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