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After 36 years of missionary work in Timor Leste, the SVD in this mission area has finally stand as a new Region, apart from its mother province in Nenuk, Atambua, Timor, NTT, Indonesia. The birth was long past an adequate preparation. According to Fr. Lazarus Mau, SVD records, the idea of having a Region itself, conceived the crisis in this region in 1999 which gave birth to a new state of Timor Leste in 2000. This idea was succeeded by preparing a strategic plan in March 2004. February 2-4, 2010, the strategic plan was evaluated and followed by a draft preparation of the vision and mission statement that presented to the visitator General of Rome, P. Arlindo Diaz, SVD, who visited Timor Leste in February 2010. March 4, 2010, an official letter signed by the Rector of the District of East Timor sent to Father General in Rome, containing the determination of the SVD members’ of Timor Leste to become a new SVD Region. April 16, 2010, Father General issued a formal letter of the founding of this new Region. 7-9 June 2010, Provincial of SVD Timor, P. Simon Bata, SVD, took a short visit to Dili, in order to consolidate the preparation of the inauguration of the new Region in East Timor. This visit followed by SVD Timor Leste assembly that occurred on November 15-17, 2010. This assembly was attended by Fr. Pio Estepa, SVD, Mission Secretary of the Society who helped in formulating the Vision and Mission statement of the SVD new Region in Timor Leste. On April 6, 2011, a consultative elections for the regional and its board was held. May 11, 2011, Father Superior General sent the appointments of the new Region Leadership of Timor Leste region as follows:

  • Pe. Gabriel Suban Koten, SVD, Regional
  • Pe. John Suban, SVD, Vice-Regional
  • Pe. Lazarus Mau, SVD, Admonitor
  • Pe. Key Kornelis, SVD, Member
  • Pe. Alan Bondoc, SVD, Member

(Primus Djuki, SVD)

Inauguration Gabriel, John, Lazarus, Kornelis, Alan


(June 8, 2011)

Today marks the day of SVD Timor Leste becomes a new SVD Region, the 38th Region of SVD in the whole world. New Region means greater responsibility in the mission. The celebration’s theme is “HAU SEI LA HUSIK IMI MESAK” (in English: “I will not leave you alone.”) The preparation was collaborated with the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit and the laity around the neighborhood. The festive was simple but the celebration was great. The Eucharistic celebration was presided by the first and newly elected Father Regional Superior Gabriel Koten, SVD. The homilist on that celebration was Father Simon Bata, SVD, the Provincial superior of SVD Timor. He pointed out in his homily about Jesus not leaving us alone and as SVDs not doing mission alone. Before the Eucharistic celebration was ended, there was presentation of the first elected councils of SVD Timor Region: Fr. Gabriel Koten as Regional superior; Fr. John Suban as vice Regional superior; Fr. Lazarus Mau as Admonitor; and Fr. Cornelis Key and Fr. Alan Bondoc as members of the councils. All of them received the appointment letters from the Generalate in Rome. They signed it and presented it to Fr. Provincial as representative of father General.

After the Eucharistic celebration a short and meaningful program with singing and dancing followed it. Fr. Jose Kapitan, SVD, a pioneer SVD missionary in Timor Leste, gave a short history of SVD Timor Leste. He was very grateful that he was remembered and invited in this momentous event.

The day ended with festive feelings but the mission must always continue. The challenge awaits us, being the new SVD Region, but we have nothing to fear because we firmly believe that the God who called us for this mission will not leave us alone.

(Alan Bondoc, SVD)