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On August 30, 1999, the people in East Timor had their regional public election to choose if they would like to be integrated into the Republic of Indonesia or if they were to have their own country. The result was announced in September 4, 1999 with the majority choosing to be independent. Thus was born the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste. This political situation has affected the mobility of the sisters from/to Timor West and Timor East, especially now that a visa is needed.

For this reason, the sisters assembly in Halilulik-Timor on March 14-17, 2002 recommended to open a new region in Timor East. This recommendation was approved by the Congregational Leadership Team in Rome. The assignment of the first Regional Leadership Team, consisting of Sr. Margaretha Abuk (Regional Superior), Sr. Arminda Maya Barreto (Assistant Regional Superior) and Sr. Oneide Ferri (Council Member) followed.


This young region has five communities:

  • Community of Nossa Senhora in Oe-Cussi (1975)
  • Community of St. Antonius in Maliana (1981)
  • Community of St. Arnoldus in Uatulari (1989)
  • Community of Beata Maria Helena in Dili (1995)
  • Branch Community of St. Joseph Freinademetz in Salele (2005)
The sisters serve in the fields of:

  1. Health care : the region has only one clinic but they work in a wider scope in collaboration with the parishes and other associations/ groups that minister to or are involved in the care of lepers, HIV/AIDS infected, TBC, Mother-Child Health Care, etc.
  2. Education: Some sisters teach in the schools of the Diocese, Kindergarten, Elementary, High Schools and Vocational School
  3. Socio-Pastoral: parish apostolate, for the children and the youth, the prisoners,  women and school drop out children.