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About Timor-Leste


Timor-Leste is Asia's youngest nation with a flourishing traditional culture and strong Christian faith. After 500 years of Portuguese colonial rule, the Timorese people declared independence in 1975, before enduring a further 24 years of violent struggle for freedom against the brutally repressive Indonesian occupation, during the years 1975-1999. After an overwhelming positive referendum result for independence in 1999, Timor-Leste transitioned to a UN led administration, before finally having their independence fully restored in 2002. The years of struggle came at a cost of 200,000 Timorese lives. Today the people of Timor-Leste strive to build a nation based on faith, unity, peace and hope with significant support from international aid and NGO partners.





Main Religions

Roman Catholic, Protestant, Islam


Time Zone

UTC+9  no daylight-saving




Tetun, Portuguese, Bahasa (Indonesian), English



1,341,737 (2022 census)



14,900 km²

Arrival of Marists


Number of Marist Brothers communities & location

1 -  Baucau

Number of Brothers


Marist Schools & location

The first Marist School is undergoing construction in Lautem.

Expanding Marist Presence in Timor-Leste: From Teacher Training to first Marist School


Following the 1999 independence referendum in Timor-Leste, Brothers from the Melbourne Province arrived in 2000 at the request of the Bishop of the Diocese of Baucau to commence a teacher training college.

Under the leadership of successive Brothers, the College, officially Instituto Católico Para Formação de Professores (ICFP), has developed and grown in stature and reputation. It is regarded as one of the top performing tertiary institutions in the country. 

Over the past 22 years, Marist connections with Timor-Leste have grown and deepened. Australian Marist Solidarity (AMS) has provided funding for a range of projects, including reconstruction of schools, post-school skilling, social support and inclusion opportunities. Negotiations to establish a Marist school in Timor-Leste started over 15 years ago. They have now been successful and a school is being built in Lautem within the Baucau Diocese.





Br James Jolley, FMS, then Provincial of Melbourne, meeting with Bishop Basilio do Nascimento in Baucau in 2001.

Since the Australian Province decided to accept Timorese candidates, 21 young men have taken First Vows.

In addition to the Timorese, two Brothers teach and administer at the ICFP (President and Director). One Brother is the Master of Scholastics, one Brother directs the Aspirancy programme, and one Brother directs the Postulancy programme. Another Brother is the Director of Vocations and co-ordinates the Come and See programme. The Brothers also maintain a close interest in the ongoing projects coordinated by AMS.


Brothers from other Provinces have worked in Timor-Leste over the years. This includes Brothers from Portugal, Aotearoa - New Zealand and Brazil.

Presently, the Marist Brothers community in Baucau comprises four residences. These are: 


  • Teulale residence – Postulancy (3 Brothers and 8 postulants)

  • Wainiki Scholasticate residence (7 Brothers)

  • Kai Laki Scholasticate residence (6 Brothers)

  • Tirilolo Residence (ICFP - 3 Brothers)


A Community Council comprising the Community Leader, Assistant Community Leader, Ministry Leader, Bursar and three Timorese Brothers meet regularly to discuss and implement the Community life plan and organise events and gatherings.

Number of Brothers

  • There are 29 Brothers in Timor-Leste.

  • 21 professed Timorese Brothers, seven Brothers from Australia and one from Brazil (but part of SOTS).




                                                           Marist Brothers Community Timor-Leste 2023  


Marist Life and Mission Groups


PJM (Pastoral Juventude Marista) or Marist Youth Ministry group consists of students, Scholastic Brothers and professors from ICFP. The group meets regularly for prayer, formation in youth ministry and Marist spirituality and participates in outreach to needy families and vulnerable people in the Baucau District.


Marist Ministries and Schools


  • ICFP, belongs to the Diocese of Baucau and is administered by the Marist Brothers. It is an institute of higher education and conducts an accredited Bachelor of Education programme (Primary) supplying teachers for the country.

  • The first Marist co-educational school is presently undergoing construction at Lautem in the Diocese of Baucau. 

  • Formation Staff at ICFP have begun to participate in online Marist spirituality and formation programmes conducted by the Marist Mission and Life Formation Team.

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Marist Presence in Timor-Leste 

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