February 2018



Bishop’s Monthly Letter

My dear Fathers, The country will celebrate 70 years of independence this month. While we thank God for the political independence that we received in 1948,we have little else to celebrate as a Nation. The country is in a state of confusion with major political parties who have been  ruling the country since independence accusing one another of large scale bribery and corruption. The prospect of good governance and clean politics has been marred by the recent events. The poor are certainly are not given the priority by those who govern the country. We need to really emerge as a Nation that has a truly Sri Lankan identity with genuine and determined efforts towards unity, reconciliation and peace. It is still a far cry from what has been pledged even at the last election. We all realize that the leaders of the country have to match their words with deeds and as the saying goes unless they “Walk the Talk”, the sense of  frustration among our people will continue to grow.

The forthcoming local government election offers little hope to the country even though the Election Commission is making a genuine effort to conduct a clean election. Unless there is a deep conversion of heart at all levels among the politicians from the grass roots to the top, authentic development will remain only a dream.  As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our independence, let us encourage our faithful to promote in their own environment a sense of integrity and a Sri Lankan identity in dealing with one another.   We seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lanka, to come to our rescue as She has always done in times of national disaster. St. Jospeh Vaz, undoubtedly is pleading for us in heaven as he loved Lanka with an unparalleled passion.   This year the Season of Lent  begins early, namely on the 14th February. I am confident that the customary Lenten devotions will be promoted in all  our parishes and institutions in keeping with our theme for 2018, namely ““Deepening   our faith in view of becoming powerful witnesses to the Lord Jesus and the Gospel”. If the Lenten devotions and sacrifices are to be meaningfully  observed, we must focus our attention towards the poor and the neglected in our midst. Let us remember what Pope Francis said in his letter to those in consecrated life in the Year of Consecrated Life(21st November 2014 to 2nd February 2016), “ The greatest form of  discrimination of the poor is to deprive them of spiritual nourishment”. Therefore, let us do everything possible to care for the sick, the suffering and the elderly in our midst with special emphasis in the grace-filled Season of Lent.

On the 3rd of February, Rev. Fr. Denzil Perera will chalk up 60 years in the Priesthood. He will have a quiet celebration with his relatives at St. Joseph’s Carmel  at Katugastota on that day. Our own celebration of thanksgiving was a beautiful event with the participation of all our Priests and Religious on the 30th of January. I wish to thank the organizers for a job well done.

We wish our Brother, Fr. Denzil many more happy and fruitful years in the Priesthood. We offer our profound thanks to God Almighty, for his committed and dedicated ministry of sixty years. “Ad Multos Felicissimos Et Fructissimos Annos”.dear Fr. Denzil.


May God bless you.

Yours devotedly in the Lord,

Bishop Vianney Fernando, Bishop of Kandy



Bishop’s Engagements in February

3rd   – Confirmation Service in the Parish of Bogawantalawa

4th 11.00 am – Patronal Feast of the National Seminary, Ampitiya

5th    – Visit to Ampitiya Carmel Convent

7th 06.30 pm – Somascan Feast

8th 10.00 am – Presbyteral Council Meeting Gatambe,

03.00 pm  – Episcopal Council Meeting–         Gatambe

14th – Ash Wednesday

16th 08.30 am – St. Sylvester’s College OBA Award of Scholarship

04.30 am – Inauguration of Pilgrimage to the “Way of the Cross” at Sancta Maria

17th 10.00 am         – Kandy Diocesan Pastoral  Council Meeting— Gatambe

19th     06.00 pm – Meeting with the Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the Bishop’s Residence

24th  – Blessing of  two Chapels in the Parish of Talawakelle

10.00 am         – Drayton Estate

04.00 pm – Rosita  Estate

26th—27th – Clergy Monthly Recollection at Lewella







Ash Wednesday 14th February 2018

Catechetical Apostolate Programmes for the month of February Kandy Deanery – 2nd Year Seminar Date  :1st to 3rd Place : Kadugannawa


Diocesan – 3rd Year Seminar Date : 21st to 24th  Place : Kadugannawa

Rev. Fr. Camillus Jansz – Director


Rev. Father Denzil Matthew Perera who celebrates his Diamond Jubilee of Priesthood on 3rd February this year was born in the ancient royal city of Kandy on 7th of September 1930.  His parents were Senerathge Ablyno Perera and Stella Dominica who were devout Catholics.  He belonged to a large family of nine children.  He was the eldest.  We praise and thank you Lord for the gift of his precious life for the Church and the world.

In his youth he heard the call of God to the Priesthood.  With a generous heart and with joy he responded to it.  His parents who had prayed to take their children to God’s service were more than happy when their cherished first born revealed his desire to them.  So they gave him all the encouragement he needed and lovingly nurtured his vocation.  We thank and praise you Lord with profound gratitude for your wonderful choice of him to be your Priest.

Sorrow entered his life when he lost his beloved young mother when he was seventeen.  His five year old sister Noeline and his infant twin brothers also died.  He started schooling at St. Sylvester’s College Kandy.  He had to change schools because his father who was a station master was transferred to places like Moratuwa and Jaffna.

He entered the National Seminary at Ampitiya in 1950 and pursued his studies to the priesthood.  He loved the Latin language very much.  He spent 8 years in the seminary.

That beautiful day of his ordination dawned on 3rd February 1958.  He was ordained by the then saintly Bishop of Kandy His Lordship Bishop Bernard Regno OSB at the Kandy Cathedral.   We praise and thank you Lord for this inestimable gift of priesthood you conferred on him through your immense mercy.

He is a great lover of God’s beautiful creation.  He used to take long walks admiring and praising God for the gift of nature.  He has climbed several mountains in our land in his young days.

He was an avid reader but above all he was a man of prayer and gave first place to personal prayer.  With joy and devotion he daily offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, recited the Divine Office and Rosary.

After his ordination to the Priesthood he was appointed first as the assistant parish priest to Holy Cross Church, Hatton. It was a parish with several out stations where the tea plantation thrived.  Tamils were the majority there.  It was fortunate that he knew the Tamil language well.  In that way he was fully equipped to minister to the Tamil people there easily.

In 1961 he was transferred to St. Joseph’s Church in Gampola.  There Sinhalese were the majority, but in the surrounding tea estates there were Tamil labourers.  He was very active in the Gampola Parish where he trained a group of Scouts as Scout Master.  He was also active in the youth apostolate there.  He was always available to the faithful, naturally the parishioners loved him.  He served the Lord with gladness and was cheerful at all times.  He showed much compassion towards the poor and needy and helped them according to his means.

In 1967 he was made the parish priest of St. Anthony’s Church Bandarawela which covered a large area.  He tirelessly labored in this parish and looked after the flock of God.  For twelve long years with his youthful vigor and worked in the diocese of Kandy.

In 1970 with the kind permission of Bishop Leo Nanayakkara and with the blessing of his generous old father he flew to the Negro Missions in New Orleans USA at the bidding of His Lord and Master Jesus who called him to be his Missionary in a faraway land.  We praise and thank you Lord for this wonderful call within a call you gave him.

The Archbishop of New Orleans His Grace Philip Hanon with open arms received this young Sri Lankan Priest because there was a dirth of priests in that large Archdiocese.  Rev. Fr. Denzil worked zealously and whole heartedly in several parishes there where the faithful have never seen a nonwhite missionary from the east.  For many years he was in charge of the Blue Army in New Orleans.  He promoted the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima with much success.  As he lost his dear mother in his youth he attached himself all the more to His heavenly mother whose devotion he spread where ever he went.  On Her part Our Blessed Mother showed Her tender love and care for him and blessed his work in a marvelous way. We praise and thank you Lord for this gift of ardent Marian devotion that you planted in his heart.

Rev. Father Denzil as a true disciple of the Lord Jesus had to pass through many a suffering and trial in his life.  He cheerfully carried the cross and followed the Lord in rain and sunshine but always with a peaceful heart knowing this journey leads to our true home of bliss in heaven.  In his achievements he didn’t give way to pride and in his human weakness and limitations, didn’t lose heart or get discouraged knowing that his good Lord was leading him on through all these happenings.

In 2006 a terrible disaster struck the city of New Orleans when the cyclone Catarina hit her badly.  At the same time the bund of the Mississippi river gave way.  The whole city was under water, hundreds of its inhabitants lost their lives and thousands lost their homes, property and livelihood.  As a faithful pastor he didn’t abandon his flock in that hour but remained close to them sharing their hardships and sufferings.  In that dark hour he was there to comfort and console them with a fathers loving care.  We praise and thank you Lord for the courage you gave him at that moment.

After 37 years of full time service to the Archdiocese of New Orleans Rev. Fr. Denzil returned to his own diocese of Kandy to serve her for six months annually.  The other six months he went back to New Orleans.  His flock there wouldn’t allow him to come back to Sri Lanka for good.

As a good priest who had the welfare of the Church in mind he always promoted vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life.  His own good example helped the candidates to become faithful priests and religious.

From 1970 once in every two years, for a month or two he was allowed to visit his native land.  On these trips he used to break journey to visit the Holy Land.  There has walked from Dan to Beersheba and crissed crossed that blessed country on foot following the footsteps of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Apostles and numerous pilgrims.  We thank and praise you Lord for his opportunity you provided him to walk where you walked.

Lord we thank and praise Thee for giving Rev. Father a strong, golden voice to sing Thy praises and to preach Thy word to your people.  He used to write interesting religious articles and compose beautiful poems.  He always had a good supply of stories which he made use of in his sermons.   Sometimes what he said made us laugh our sides out.

In 2014 he lost his eye sight partially because of a rupture of a blood vessel in his eye.  We praise and thank you Lord because you prevented him from getting blind altogether.  He is unable to read easily now.  In spite of this handicap he has an ardent desire to serve God like before with selflessness and enthusiasm.

Lord we praise and thank you with all our hearts for his priestly ministry of 60 years where he was able to bring many souls to God, obtain their conversion, bestow the sacraments, spread His word by preaching.  He lives a poor and simple life as an exemplary servant of God, who loved God and neighbour by a dedicated way of life.  As he sings his Magnificat we join with the Chief Shepherd of our Diocese of Kandy, we the Priests Religious and lay people offer him our deep gratitude and thanks, our heartfelt appreciation, constant prayers and best wishes on this happy occasion of His Diamond Jubilee of Priesthood.  May God bless you, Mary our Blessed Mother always be with you.

Sent by a Religious of the Diocese


Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday, and is chiefly observed by Catholics, although many other Christians observe it too. Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, he speaks the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Alternatively, the priest may speak the words, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Ashes also symbolize grief, in this case, grief that we have sinned and caused division from God. Writings from the Second-century Church refer to the wearing of ashes as a sign of penance. Priests administer ashes during Mass and all are invited to accept the ashes as a visible symbol of penance. Even nonChristians and the excommunicated are welcome to receive the ashes. The ashes are made from blessed palm branches, taken from the previous year’s palm Sunday Mass.

It is important to remember that Ash Wednesday is a day of penitential prayer and fasting. Some faithful take the rest of the day off work and remain home. It is generally inappropriate to dine out, to shop, or to go about in public after receiving the ashes. Feasting is highly inappropriate. Small children, the elderly and sick are exempt from this observance. It is not required that a person wear the ashes for the rest of the day, and they may be washed off after Mass. However, many people keep the ashes as a reminder until the evening.

Recently, movements have developed that involve pastors distributing ashes to passersby in public places. This isn’t considered taboo, but Catholics should know this practice is distinctly Protestant. Catholics should still receive ashes within the context of Mass. In some cases, ashes may be delivered by a priest or a family member to those who are sick or shut-in. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.

Why we receive the ashes Following the example of the Ninevites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told “Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice. The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance. On Ash Wednesday, the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days of penance, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the church because of their sins — just as Adam, the first man, was turned out of Paradise because of his disobedience. The penitents did not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days’ penance and sacramental absolution. Later, all Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. In earlier times, the distribution of ashes was followed by a penitential procession.

The Ashes The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.

Taken From : Catholiconline




  •  A religion that does not begin with repentance is certain to end there- perhaps too late
  •  The Christian who has stopped repenting has stopped growing
  •  Repentance begins in the humiliation of the heart and ends in the reformation of the life
  •  Of all acts of man, repentance is the most divine. The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none
  •  Lord, break my heart with the things that break your heart
  •  If life had a second edition, how I would correct the proofs
  •  What man uncovers, God will cover; what man covers
  •  The true repentance is personal, painful, and profitable
  •  One of the most fundamental marks of true repentance is a disposition to see our sins as God see them



  •  You are not tempted because you are evil; you are tempted because you are human
  •  Prayer, meditation, and temptation make a minister
  •  Temptation is like a knife that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or poison
  •  Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open.
  •  We fall prey to temptation because we do not avail ourselves of the divine weapons God has provided for our defense.
  •  When we meet temptation, always turn to right. One cannot keep birds flying over my head, but he can keep them from building under his hat.
  •  Temptations are everywhere, and so is the grace of God.


Sent by Fr. Bala Rajendram


2018 Lenten Message of His Holiness Pope Francis

“Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12) Dear Brothers and Sisters, Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”.[1] Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life. With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth. I will take my cue from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12). These words appear in Christ’s preaching about the end of time. They were spoken in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, where the Lord’s passion would begin. In reply to a question of the disciples, Jesus foretells a great tribulation and describes a situation in which the community of believers might well find itself: amid great trials, false prophets would lead people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel would grow cold in the hearts of many.


False prophets Let us listen to the Gospel passage and try to understand the guise such false prophets can assume. They can appear as “snake charmers”, who manipulate human emotions in order to enslave others and lead them where they would have them go. How many of God’s children are mesmerized by momentary pleasures, mistaking them for true happiness! How many men and women live entranced by the dream of wealth, which only makes them slaves to profit and petty interests! How many go through life believing that they are sufficient unto themselves, and end up entrapped by loneliness! False prophets can also be “charlatans”, who offer easy and immediate solutions to suffering that soon prove utterly useless. How many young people are taken in by the panacea of drugs, of disposable relationships, of easy but dishonest gains! How many more are ensnared in a thoroughly “virtual” existence, in which relationships appear quick and straightforward, only to prove meaningless! These swindlers, in peddling things that have no real value, rob people of all that is most precious: dignity, freedom and the ability to love. They appeal to our vanity, our trust in appearances, but in the end they only make fools of us. Nor should we be surprised. In order to confound the human heart, the devil, who is “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44), has always presented evil as good, falsehood as truth. That is why each of us is called to peer into our heart to see if we are falling prey to the lies of these false prophets. We must learn to look closely, beneath the surface, and to recognize what leaves a good and lasting mark on our hearts, because it comes from God and is truly for our benefit.


A cold heart In his description of hell, Dante Alighieri pictures the devil seated on a throne of ice,[2] in frozen and loveless isolation. We might well ask ourselves how it happens that charity can turn cold within us. What are the signs that indicate that our love is beginning to cool? More than anything else, what destroys charity is greed for money, “the root of all evil” (1 Tim 6: 10). The rejection of God and his peace soon follows; we prefer our own desolation rather than the comfort found in his word and the sacraments.[3] All this leads to violence against anyone we think is a threat to our own “certainties”: the unborn child, the elderly and infirm, the migrant, the alien among us, or our neighbour who does not live up to our expectations.


Creation itself becomes a silent witness to this cooling of charity. The earth is poisoned by refuse, discarded out of carelessness or for self-interest. The seas, themselves polluted, engulf the remains of countless shipwrecked victims of forced migration. The heavens, which in God’s plan, were created to sing his praises, are rent by engines raining down implements of death. Love can also grow cold in our own communities. In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I sought to describe the most evident signs of this lack of love: selfishness and spiritual sloth, sterile pessimism, the temptation to self-absorption, constant warring among ourselves, and the worldly mentality that makes us concerned only for appearances, and thus lessens our missionary zeal.[4]

What are we to do? Perhaps we see, deep within ourselves and all about us, the signs I have just described. But the Church, our Mother and Teacher, along with the often bitter medicine of the truth, offers us in the Lenten season the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting. By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of selfdeception,[5] and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well. Almsgiving sets us free from greed and helps us to regard our neighbour as a brother or sister. What I possess is never mine alone. How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us! How I would like us, as Christians, to follow the example of the Apostles and see in the sharing of our possessions a tangible witness of the communion that is ours in the Church! For this reason, I echo Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to take up a collection for the community of Jerusalem as something from which they themselves would benefit (cf. 2 Cor 8:10). This is all the more fitting during the Lenten season, when many groups take up collections to assist Churches and peoples in need. Yet I would also hope that, even in our daily encounters with those who beg for our assistance, we would see such requests as coming from God himself. When we give alms, we share in God’s providential care for each of his children. If through me God helps someone today, will he not tomorrow provide for my own needs? For no one is more generous than God.[6]

Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth. On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure. On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God. Fasting wakes us up. It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour. It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger. I would also like my invitation to extend beyond the bounds of the Catholic Church, and to reach all of you, men and women of good will, who are open to hearing God’s voice. Perhaps, like ourselves, you are disturbed by the spread of iniquity in the world, you are concerned about the chill that paralyzes hearts and actions, and you see a weakening in our sense of being members of the one human family. Join us, then, in raising our plea to God, in fasting, and in offering whatever you can to our brothers and sisters in need!

The fire of Easter Above all, I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer. If, at times, the flame of charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God! He constantly gives us a chance to begin loving anew. One such moment of grace will be, again this year, the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, which invites the entire Church community to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in the context of Eucharistic adoration. In 2018, inspired by the words of Psalm 130:4, “With you is forgiveness”, this will take place from Friday, 9 March to Saturday, 10 March. In each diocese, at least one church will remain open for twenty-four consecutive hours, offering an opportunity for both Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession.


During the Easter Vigil, we will celebrate once more the moving rite of the lighting of the Easter candle. Drawn from the “new fire”, this light will slowly overcome the darkness and illuminate the liturgical assembly. “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds”,[7] and enable all of us to relive the experience of the disciples on the way to Emmaus. By listening to God’s word and drawing nourishment from the table of the Eucharist, may our hearts be ever more ardent in faith, hope and love.

With affection and the promise of my prayers for all of you, I send you my blessing. Please do not forget to pray for me.

From the Vatican, 1 November 2017  Solemnity of All Saints


Dicastery for promoting Integral Human Development

 On 17th August 2016, Pope Francis issued a Motu Proprio  instituting the Dicastery for promoting Integral Human Development. This development takes place by attending to the inestimable goods of justice, peace, and the care of creation.  This Dicastery will be competent particularly in issues  regarding migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned  and unemployed , as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture. The following Pontifical councils were merged as of 1January 2017; the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum , the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.

The Prefect of the new Dicastery is Cardinal Peter Turkson and the Secretary is Fr.  Bruno– Marie Duffe who was appointed June 16, 2017. The two Under– Secretaries are Fr. Michael Czerny, S.J. and Fr. Fabio Baggio, C.S. with specific responsibility for migrants and refugees and who report directly to the Holy Father.

From : FABC Newsletter


The Lent is a season of spiritual revival meant to elevate our awareness, worship and devotion to God. It is as well a season when we are expected to become holier and made for God’s purpose-fulfillments. Therefore in order to be sure that we make the best out of the season, the following daily practices could be useful


  1. At least a Daily coordinated and sincere 30 minutes prayer to God.
  2. Reading the daily Catholic readings of everyday. And embrace the habit of reading Catholic literature books about the lives of saints, the past popes, faith, etc.
  3. Volunteer to do good work for the church; either by cleaning the church, helping out with chores in the parish house, etc.
  4. Give alms to the needy around and beyond you.
  5. Try to pray for those whom you don’t like or people that don’t like you.
  6. Ensure to attend Mass everyday throughout of the season of lent (if daily obtainable in your Circumstances).
  7. Evangelize the Catholic faith at every slight chance you get everyday wherever you find yourself. Tell them of the salvation that the season brings.
  8. Make this season not just a season to revive yourself alone, but ensure you build up your family as well by constantly organizing meetings where you could collectively pray and share the word of God together.
  9. Donate Items and materials like clothings, utensils, devices, etc to St. Vincent De Paul Societies in order that the poor and needy might be reached.
  10. Ensure to always go for confessions


Sent by:  Fr. Surendra Pragash






The Second Vatican Council enunciated a clear, consistent and compact vision of the Church in which the priestly minister plays a role of central importance. For the effective communication of the Council’s vision and its fruitful implementation the contribution of the priest is of the most decisive significance. The pastor of the local communities is the most important instrument for the transmission of the message and life of salvation to the faithful. Therefore priests must know, understand, assimilate, personalize and live the refreshing and relevant vision of the Council.

Everybody must possess a vision of life. It gives a definite direction, a focus to life. A vision gives a person a set of values by which he strives to live his life. A vision implies one’s fundamental option as he cruises along in life. The vision ensures a goal-oriented life. It consequently impels a person to adopt necessary means, measures and steps to attain those goals. Such a visionary life is purposeful, disciplined, regular, systematic, steady and well-organized.

Such a life is one of intent pursuit. It has sustainability and stability. It gives a sense of security, peace and fulfilment. It inspires to face difficulties and setbacks along the way. When the vision is communitarian, inclusive and universal like the one the priest is expected to possess according to the Council then such a life of vision impacts the lives of others for growth, progress and fulfilment. A person of vision is not self-absorbed but mission-oriented.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. — Proverbs 29.-18 The life of every priest therefore must be one of vision and our vision must be the one given by the Council.

Vision of parish The Pope writes (1128), “The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelisers.”

“It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey. and a Center of constant missionary outreach.”

“Today, our challenge is not so much atheism,” writes the Holy Father (#89), “as the need to respond adequately to many people’s thirst for God”

Vision is what you want to see taking place in life. For example, the architect and the builder have a picture of a house they want to build. That is their vision of the structure. With this vision they make a plan, they engage labour, buy material and proceed to complete the building. Similarly the priest must possess a vision of the Church, the diocese and the parish.

A well-defined personal vision should naturally lead to a more focused ministry of the priest. Goals and measures are to be well thought out and planned, intended to accomplish our purpose. Otherwise along the way disconnected, irrelevant and less important matters and activities can give as temporary satisfaction and a feeling of elation but all this will not get us there where our priestly vision has to lead us. This then will lead us to be empty, disoriented and not truly happy and fulfilled.


For possessing a vision, core values, purpose basic interests, desires and aspirations have to be ascertained and affirmed. These should be specific, concrete, realistic and attainable. Of course, the vision can be further clarified, modified and developed as life and reality and the world change. The vision gives- a—definite direction and a sense of fulfilment.


The following are some important considerations to keep in mind while re-examining our vision of life, priesthood and ministry.

  1. What is your aim in your life?
  2. What are your long term plans or goals?
  3. Where do you see yourself 5 years li-om now? How confident are you to fulfil all these objectives in your life?
  4. How will you put your skills to work to achieve your vision of life and objectives in your life?
  5. How will you try and progress yourself to reach and achieve your vision in life that you have set for yourself?
  6. What gives you a sense of happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment? What difference does it make to other people’s lives?

Goals and vision are to be achievable and no to be wishful thinking.  They should be clearly spelt out. To realize one’s goals and vision one should be well-focussed. A man of vision does not yield to the pressures of the society and its trends. There are so many attractions. developments and ideologies floating around in society. Like the flight of an aero-plane that cruises along its path in the direction of the set destination in the midst of a bad weather and turbulence a man of vision must march ahead to his ultimate goal like Jesus the supreme visionary.

Be Committed towards your task. Assignments and mission. Show Enthusiasm. Life becomes an exhilarating and invigorating enterprise when you are filled with intense positive feelings and enthusiasm. These are infectious. Consequently your vision will be shared by others and it will spread. This is what you want as priests. This is what the Church expects as is outlined in the documents of the Council.

The Purpose of Personal Vision Motivates us.

  1. Gives us a sense of purpose and direction.
  2. Enables us to adopt right strategy.
  3. Equips as to participates in the mission of Christ entrusted to the Church.
  4. Vision demands a concrete time-bound pastoral plan.
  5. Without commitment vision cannot he realized.
  6. A personal and realistic vision inspires enthusiasm

Our personal vision is the clearest description of our calling what God has made as to do in this life. It should constantly remind us of the unique way in which God has chosen us to fit into his great plan of redemption.


“Without a vision from God we perish”, as Proverbs 29.18 points out. The history of the Church. even that of the Church in Sri Lanka shows how only those with a proper Christian and ecclesial vision became effective and fruitful in their mission. Many people in society, even in the Church, go through life without a vision. They live their life as it goes and as things emerge and happen. They may also be satisfied and happy in their own ways. But in the end it all strikes as being superficial.


However, we priests cannot live such a life because the priestly life demands by its very nature a consistent vision. Discovering and developing a personal vision for your life is an issue of great importance. The life of every priest therefore must be one of vision and our vision must be the one given by the Council.


By: Bishop Thomas Dabare, Poona – India




07th – Wed – Rev. Fr. Clement Gnanapragasam, OSB

09th – Fri – Rev. Fr. Colvin Fernandopulle

18th – Sun – Rev. Fr. M. N. Leonard

22nd – Thu – Rev. Fr. D. Michael Sandanam, OSB

24th – Sat – Rev. Fr. Alexis R. Fernando



03rd – Sat – Rev. Fr. Denzil M. Perera (Diamond Jubilee of Priestly Ordination)



02nd – Fri – Rev. Fr. D. Joseph Paggnani, OSB

–      Rev. Fr. Alexis Chiori, OSB

05th – Mon – Rev. Fr. Lanfrank Amerasinghe, OSB

10th – Sat – Rev. Fr. Lucian Perera