Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.
We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.
We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.
- Published: Sunday, 16 January 2011 12:55
Many Australians saw the film Balibo in 2009 on its first release. It is available on DVD and is beginning to receive television screenings. Balibo offers the opportunity to go back to the 1970s, to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, to the repression of the people of that small former Portuguese colony so near to the coast of the Northern Territory.
The film, made for an Australian and western audience, focuses on the journalist, Roger East, and the deaths of the five television reporters and camera operators who were killed in 1975. East had come to Dili at the request of Jose Ramos Horta. (The film features Jose Ramos Horta as a central character – and includes news footage at the end as he returned to his country after almost a quarter of a century in exile.)
Between 1975 and the independence of East Timor in the late 1990s, many refugees came to Australia and were welcomed by church organisations and religious congregations.
One of the supporters of the Timorese was Fr Pat Walsh MSC, who later left the society. He continued to be a champion of Timorese independence with representations to the United Nations. He was also an inspiration for the MSC students of the time, especially Leo Wearden who was particularly involved with the refugees and in the years since independence has been part of delegations to that country.
I did not see Balibo on its first release and only recently had the opportunity to see it.
There is a sequence where the Australian journalists arrive at a mission and are welcomed by the priest. They see the people fleeing to the mountains. The priest knows he must stay and support the people.
The priest is played by Pat Walsh, something of a tribute to his constant work for the Timorese.