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God 'number one' in East Timor

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 Contents - Apr 2004AD2000 April 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The Passion of the Christ: 'Why do you seek the living among the dead?' - Michael Gilchrist
National Church Life Survey: church-going declines further - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Riccardo Piol of Communion and Liberation makes an impact in Victoria - AD2000 Report
Books: Archbishop Hart launches new book on Dr Mannix - Daniel Mannix: Wit and Wisdom - Archbishop Dennis Hart
Film Review: Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ': a contemporary masterpiece - David Schütz
Events: Adore 2004 Youth Eucharistic Congress - Nicole Osmak
God 'number one' in East Timor - Paul Russell
Events: Chesterton conference to be held in Melbourne - Tony Evans
Theology: Fr Aidan Nichols to lecture on von Balthasar in Melbourne - Tracey Rowland
Whatever happened to reverence at Mass? - Matthew Greene
The Salesians in East Timor: progress report - Br Michael Lynch
Letters: Church architecture
Letters: Catholic schools
Letters: Jehovah's Witnesses
Letters: Corrections - Fr Timothy Deeter
Letters: The Sign of the Cross - Dr Arnold Jago
Letters: Life under threat - Brian Harris
Letters: Taking a stand in the culture war - Robert and Carmel Garrett
Letters: Easter greetings from India - Fr S. John Joseph
Poetry: Two Poems on the Passion - Marion Craig and Brian Mulligan
Books: The Catholic Revival in English Literature 1845-1961, by Ian Ker - Francis Phillips (reviewer)
Books: An apology for the revival of Christian Architecture, by Augustus Welby Pugin - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Priestly Fraternity of St Peter - Holy Week 2004
Books: AD Books - More new titles for 2004
Reflection: Right is right, even if nobody does it (G.K. Chesterton) - Fr F.E. Burns

On Wednesday, 3 March, 2004 the Adelaide Office of the NCC had the pleasure of hosting a group from East Timor on a cultural goodwill visit to Australia. The visitors were shown around Adelaide as the guests of Bob Day, Managing Director of Home Australia, and Lt Col Malcolm McGregor, former head of the Australian Forces in East Timor.

The beautiful nature of these "local heroes", as Major David Tilt described them, (who was also part of the entourage), belies the recent history of the young nation and their life and death struggles in the fight for freedom.

"God is number one, then our families, then the nation," said one, adding that throughout the crises that preceded East Timor's nationhood, "The Catholic Church was very brave."

Speaking through translators our visitors stressed that not only did they have a strong faith but that they also had a deep abiding admiration for the stand that the Catholic Church took during the crisis, personified in Bishop Belo. The clear impression was that the Church's stance gave ordinary East Timorese people courage to keep up the fight.

Lt Col McGregor spoke of the need to develop meaningful relationships between groups such as these men represent and organisations like the NCC. Clearly, creative associations such as this can have mutual long-term benefits. In parting, we agreed to keep in contact and to build upon the relationship that already exists with East Timor via the work of the Salesians and their Missions Director in Australia, Brother Michael Lynch.

The East Timorese visitors with Lt Col McGregor (at back), journalist Christopher Pearson (left) and major David Tilt (right)

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 3 (April 2004), p. 10

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