The first ever edition of the New Testament in the Tetum language was unloaded in Dili last May. Fr Rolando Fernandez SDB - a Filipino priest from the Don Bosco Centre at Comoro near Dili - who worked on the translation for a number of years was overjoyed to finally see the project reach fruition. "What a wonderful day!" Fr Rolando exclaimed as he unpacked the 30,000 copies from the container in Dili.
The international Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, funded this unique project with a grant of $35,000.
Due to this grant Fr Rolando said "Now we will be able to send complimentary copies to all the priests and religious communities in Timor and then be able to sell the rest at a much lower price than it would have cost if we did not have the subsidy. And whatever gains we will get will be used to re-print the much sought-after Mass guide and songbook Hananu ba Nai."
Last year Aid to the Church in Need also gave a grant of $15,000 for the reprinting of 10,000 copies of the Child's Bible in the Tetum language after these books were destroyed in the looting and burning of Dili in September 1999.