February 2019

Bishop’s Monthly Letter
My dear Fathers, I am happy to see that the programs for this year on the theme of “JESUS OUR HOPE” are being enthusiastically planned and carried out. We have to make every endeavor to give our people HOPE in the midst of their sufferings and anxieties by focusing their attention on Jesus our Lord and Saviour. Kindly ensure that you bring your parish level programs to our Monthly Recollection days, in tee months of February and March, so that you can share them with the rest of the of the rest of the Presbyterium. Attention has to be paid to the different categories of our faithful such as the family, the youth and the children. Particular emphasis will have to be given to our children’s’ programs as they will specifically promote, the missionary dimension of our Christian faith already from early childhood. The new Director of PMS,, Fr. Leslie Perera has already launched parish level programs to animate our children to be little missionaries. Kindly encourage all the Holy Childhood animators to give their maximum cooperation to our Diocesan Director and Regional Coordinators in your parishes. The success of the Holy Childhood Apostolate will depend very much on the enthusiasm and zeal of our parish priests. We are celebrating the 71st Independence Day on the 04th of February which is also the Solemnity of Our Lady of Lanka. It is good that we celebrate at Parish level a Thanksgiving Holy Mass for our beautiful land which has been blessed abundantly. However, by way of true development we do not have much to celebrate. Corruption, murder, social evils of all kinds, are still rampant in our midst. Politicians are only looking after themselves while the poor are getting poorer. Racism is still a political weapon being used to woo the people’s vote. The political instability prevailing in the country does not augur well for our beloved nation. What saddens is that through various elections the same corrupt politicians are being elected. Our Christian community should be educated in their civic responsibilities which is a sacred obligation. However, it is important to remember that we should not do it from the pulpit which is Sacred as it is used to impart the Word of God and apply the same to the lives of the people. But the laity and the young in particular should be animated through seminars and discussions as regards the importance of exercising their franchise to ensure the elimination of bribery, corruption and other rampant social evils. I wish to thank the Rev. Fathers who organized various activities, in connection with the visit of Fr. Giuseppe Iasso who has been a long standing benefactor to hundreds of poor children in their education ,through Scholarships, for over three decades. The foundation stone was laid for St. Patrick’s School, Talawakelle for the English medium section. Already the Comboni Missionary Sisters have begun the English stream and we have three grades namely Grade 6, Grade 7 and Grade 8.The Plantation children are picking up very rapidly and there is hope for their future. Let us plead with our Blessed Mother ,Our Lady of Lanka, to give her maternal protection to our Country and its people as she has always done in the past . Wishing all of you God’s blessings. Yours devotedly in the Lord, Bishop Vianney Fernando, Bishop of Kandy

Bishop’s Engagements in February
2nd – 10.00 am – Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Ivan Perera at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 10
4th – 10.30 am – Solemnity of Our Lady of Lanka at the National Seminary, Ampitiya
5th – 5. 00 pm – Requiem Mass for the departed soul of Noeline Roberts at Sacred Heart Church, Katugastota
7th – 5.00 pm – Silver Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Vincent Wijesuriya at Pannala
14th – 10.00 am – Presbyteral Council Meeting at Gatambe
– 03.00 pm – Episcopal Council Meeting at Gatambe
16th – 10.30 am – Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass of Sr. Alphonsa (Holy Cross Sisters) at Punduloya 17th – 06.30 pm – Feast of St. Jerom Emili at St. Joseph’s Boys Home, Halloluwa
19th – 10.30 am – The Diamond Jubilee of Sr. Martha RGS at Matale
25th & 26th – Clergy Monthly Recollection (On 25th at 6.30 pm – Silver Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Vincent Wijesuriya at Lewella)

Diocesan Coordinator for Religious – Rev. Fr. Aruna Laksiri, Parish Priest, Matale
Matale Deanery Coordinator for Catechetical Apostolate – Rev. Fr. Lakmal Perera, Parish Priest, Panwila
Matale Deanery Coordinator for Laity – Rev. Fr. Cesil Xavier, Parish Priest, Sacred Heart Church, Rattota
Hatton Regional Coordinator for Laity – Rev. Fr. Dilan Perera, Assistant parish Priest, St.Patrick’s Church, Talawakelle

Pope’s intention for the Month of February Universal
: Human Trafficking For a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.

THE VIRTUE OF HOPE THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES 1. The theological virtues of faith, hope and charity are the basis on which the Christian’s moral life is based. By the power of the Holy Spirit, they guide the living Christian in the righteousness of God. 2. These virtues give the Christian life and form his special character. God instills these virtues in the soul of the faithful to permit them to behave as His children to become worthy of eternal life. These virtues are a reflection of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit within the Christian. (C.C.C. # 1813, 1841) 3. The greatest of these virtues is the virtue of love. [1 Cor. 13:13] 4. Through the theological virtue of hope, the Christian is inclined to desire communion (a union) with the Trinity of God. The virtue of hope originates from God through the grace of faith. It draws the Christian towards God, providing him with hope in God. Also, the Christian loves God because He is God. (C.C.C. # 1812, 1840) 5. By himself, man is unable to love God. He is raised by the grace of God to love Him above all things, to hope in Him and to voluntarily perform all his actions according to what the love of God requires of Him. THE VIRTUE OF HOPE 6. Hope is the virtue that makes the Christian crave for the Kingdom of God. Having heard of the Kingdom of God, he wants to go there. The virtue of hope stirs the Christian to desire eternal life as his final happiness. It draws him to place his trust in the promises of Jesus Christ, relying on the grace and help of the Holy Spirit to achieve this final goal. “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful.” [Heb. 10:23] 7. The Holy Spirit is richly poured out on the Christians through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, they might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” [Titus 3:6-7] (C.C.C. # 1817) THE EFFECTS OF HOPE 8. Hope answers the Christian’s strong burning desires for happiness, a desire that God has implanted in every heart. It includes the inspirations that lead to his actions, making them pure of heart so they are oriented towards the Kingdom of God. It gives the Christian strength so he will not become discouraged. It supports the Christian when he feels deserted. Hope makes the Christian’s heart shine in anticipation of eternal supreme blessedness. Encouraged by the virtue of hope, the Christian is preserved from self-concern, leading him to greater happiness that comes from charity. (C.C.C. # 1818) THE HOPE OF ABRAHAM 9. Through Christian hope, God’s children have their hope fulfilled. Hope was observed in Abraham who was the model of Christians. Abraham was purified by God when he was tested, having been asked to sacrifice his son. [Gen. 22:1-18] Consequently, God blessed Abraham abundantly. [Gen. 17:4 -8] “Hoping against hope, Abraham believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations’ according to what was said.” [Rom. 4:18] (C.C.C. # 1819) THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIAN HOPE 10. Christian hope originated when Jesus preached the beatitudes. [Mt. 5:1-12] Through the beatitudes, the Christians began to long for the Promised Land, their souls hoping towards Heaven. They now participate in the race to receive an imperishable wreath. [1 Cor. 9:25] They are prepared to face persecution because Jesus was also persecuted. [Jn. 15:20] 11. The Christian should never view suffering as a sign that God has abandoned him. Rather, he should wholeheartedly thank God for the suffering, accepting these trial as a test in faith which will lead to his sanctification, bringing about endurance, character and hope. [Rom. 5:3-4] 12. Through the grace of Jesus, the Lord’s suffering and death on the Holy Cross, the Christian has a “hope that does not disappoint, God’s love having been poured into his heart through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to them.” [Rom. 5:5] THE BENEFITS OF HOPE 13. Christians have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. It enters the Kingdom of God where Jesus has gone as forerunner (Jesus being the first) on their behalf. [Heb. 6:19-20] 14. Why does the Christian want to enter the Kingdom of God? Because he wants to receive his salvation! Salvation then becomes his greatest goal. 15. Hope is one of the weapons of the Armour of God. It protects the Christian in his battle for salvation. “Let us put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” [1 Thess. 5:8] 16. During hardships, the Christian maintains hope. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” [Rom. 12:12] In prayer, the hope of the Christian is expressed and provides him with the necessary grace for life and growth. 17. This hope is especially found in the ‘Our Father’, the most beautiful prayer which Jesus has taught. It includes all what the hope of the Christian heart desires to achieve. (C.C.C. # 1820) As such, the Christian is urged to pray, that he may receive from God what he hopes to secure from Him. 18. When the Christian receives from God what he hopes for in prayer, he is receiving God’s favour. Therefore, prayer becomes an instrument of hope for the Christian. It is essential to the Christian so he can contemplate on his imperfections. He can then properly dispose himself to turn his whole being towards God, sincerely asking Him with devotion and reverence what he hopes to receive from his prayer. 19. Jesus would not have told the Christians to pray to the Heavenly Father unless He knew that the Father would hear their prayers. It is the same in worldly dealings. No one asks someone for something unless he hopes to obtain what he is asking for. It is also common sense that as someone asks his neighbor only what he needs, the Christian should also ask God for only what he needs. This is learned in the prayer, ‘Our Father’. Jesus teaches the Christian that when he wants to ask something of God, to ask in hope, while teaching him what to hope for. 20. In the ‘Our Father’, the Christian anchors his hope on God. He “trusts in Him at all times; pouring out his heart before Him.” [Ps. 62:8] “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” [Ps. 118:9] The Christian should not put his trust in men [Job. 4:18], only hoping in God. Then, the Christian realizes that “the Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seek Him.” [Lam. 3:25] REMEMBERING THE HOPE OF OTHERS 21. During prayers, the Christian should always give thanks to God for the other Christians. He should constantly remember before God and the Heavenly Father their work of faith, their labor of love, and their steadfast hope in Jesus Christ. [1 Thess. 1:2-3] HOPE WITHIN ONE’S REACH 22. What should the Christian hope for when he prays to God? Regarding this, the Christian should perceive that before hope comes desire. You first desire something and then you hope for it. What is not desired is not hoped for! If the Christian lived in the city and someone gave him a horse, he would not want it. He would have no place for it. The horse would not be part of his desire, nor his hope. The horse would then become the source of a headache – what to do with it? IS HOPE POSSIBLE? 23. Before hoping for something, the Christian must determine if his hope is possible. Can he really obtain it? This must be answered before desiring for something. Would a Christian desire a horse if he was living in the City and farm animals are not permitted? Certainly not! Therefore, before hoping for something, the Christian must know it is possible and he desires it with all his heart.

24. It should be noted that while city dwellers can desire to have a horse, they do not believe they will get one because most cities have By-Laws that do not allow it. Therefore, such desires do not include the true value of hope. It is a desire without hope. IS HOPE DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN? 25. Finally, hope includes the desire of something that is difficult to obtain. If the unemployment rate is extremely low because there are many jobs available, there is no hope involved. A person can go out and get a job. The hope is then possible, desired and difficult to obtain. It meets all the characteristics of the virtue of hope.’ PETITION VERSUS PRAYER 26. At the same time, there are two classes of hopes. There is the hope of obtaining something which the Christian can obtain by himself through his own efforts such as creating his own job. Then, there is the hope of obtaining something through petitions, his hope being answered by the resources of others. 27. If the man’s hope is answered by the resources of others, it is called ‘petition’. But, if his hope is answered by the grace of God, it is called ‘prayer’. Therefore, a prayer to God must be possible, desired and difficult to obtain. It includes complete trust in God and His Divine Providence. DEFINING CHRISTIAN HOPE 28. Christian hope is God oriented. It excludes the Christian’s own ability or the help of others. It is a hope that places God first because “curse are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord.” [Jer. 17:5] 29. Therefore, Christians should remember that hope involves something that is possible to obtain, is desired, is difficult to obtain and is supplied by the grace of God rather than by the efforts of men. THE OBLIGATION TO HOPE 30. The Christian is obligated to hope for the glory that God has promised. “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God.” [Rom 8:28] This glory is the reward of those who obey Him. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in Heaven.” [Mt. 7:21] 31. The Christian should pray for the grace of God, to be strengthen in his hope, to endure to the end and be saved. [Mt. 10:22] Hoping on behalf of all, the Church directs its prayers to God, “desiring that everyone be saved.” [1 Tim. 2:4] The burning desire of the Church is to one day be united with Jesus Christ, her Bridegroom [Mt. 25:6], to share in the glory of Heaven. (C.C.C. # 1821) 32. Through hope, the Christian experiences an ongoing burning longing deep within his soul. With faithful trust, he anticipates from God the promised eternal life and the meriting grace to deserve it. (C.C.C. # 1843) SHARING HOPE 33. Hope is a virtue that is meant to be shared with other Christians. It is awakened within the soul through the grace of the Almighty Father, such action having been planned before the creation of time. In his heart, he should sanctify Christ as Lord. He should always be ready to make his defense to anyone who demands from him an accounting for the hope that is in him. [1 Pet. 3:15] 34. His account should be given with gentleness and reverence. The Christian must keep his conscience clear, so that, when he is slandered, those who abuse him for his good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. [1 Pet. 3:16] HOPE FOR THE GREATER PURPOSE OF LIFE 35. The virtue of hope is a blessing of the Lord that is granted to the Christian, God having willed this before the creation of the world. As a grace of God, it has been given to the Christian through abounding Divine love. Through the Holy Spirit, God’s love and grace progresses and maintains the hope of the Christian. In pursuit towards the reward of hope, the Christian has sufficient graces from the virtue of hope to encourage him to search for the greater purpose of life. To be continued……………
Sent By : Fr. Christy Paul

World Youth Day Panama 2019:
Pope Francis greets the youth of the world Dear Young People, good evening! How good it is to get together again, this time in a land that receives us with such radiance and warmth! As we gather in Panama, World Youth Day is once more a celebration of joy and hope for the whole Church and, for the world, a witness of faith. I remember that in Krakow several people asked me if I was going to be in Panama, and I told them: “I don’t know, but certainly Peter will be there. Peter is going to be there”. Today I am happy to say to you: Peter is with you, to celebrate and renew you in faith and hope. Peter and the Church walk with you, and we want to tell you not to be afraid, to go forward with the same fresh energy and restlessness that helps make us happier and more available, better witnesses to the Gospel. To go forward, not to create a parallel Church that would be more “fun” or “cool” thanks to a fancy youth event, as if that were all you needed or wanted. That way of thinking would not respect either you or everything that the Spirit is saying through you. Not at all! With you, we want to rediscover and reawaken the Church’s constant freshness and youth, opening ourselves to a new Pentecost (cf. SYNOD ON YOUNG PEOPLE, Final Document, 60). As we experienced at the Synod, this can only happen if, by our listening and sharing, we encourage each other to keep walking and to bear witness by proclaiming the Lord through service to our brothers and sisters, and concrete service at that. I know getting here was not easy. I know how much effort and sacrifice was required for you to participate in this Day. Many weeks of work and commitment, and encounters of reflection and prayer, have made the journey itself largely its own reward. A disciple is not merely someone who arrives at a certain place, but one who sets out decisively, who is not afraid to take risks and keeps walking. This is the great joy: to keep walking. You have not been afraid to take risks and to keep journeying. Today we were all able to “get here” because for some time now, in our various communities, we have all been “on the road” together. We come from different cultures and peoples, we speak different languages and we wear different clothes. Each of our peoples has had a different history and lived through different situations. We are different in so many ways! But none of it has stopped us from meeting one another and rejoicing to be together. The reason for this, we know, is that something unites us. Someone is a brother to us. You, dear friends, have made many sacrifices to be able to meet one another and in this way you have become true teachers and builders of the culture of encounter. By your actions and your approach, your way of looking at things, your desires and above all your sensitivity, you discredit and defuse the kind of talk that is intent on sowing division, on excluding or rejecting those who are not “like us”. It is because you have that instinct which knows intuitively that “true love does not eliminate legitimate differences, but harmonizes them in a superior unity” (BENEDICT XVI, Homily, 25 January 2006). On the other hand, we know that the father of lies prefers people who are divided and quarrelling to people who have learned to work together. You teach us that encountering one another does not mean having to look alike, or think the same way or do the same things, listening to the same music or wearing the same football jersey. No, not at all… The culture of encounter is a call inviting us to dare to keep alive a shared dream. Yes, a great dream, a dream that has a place for everyone. The dream for which Jesus gave his life on the cross, for which the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost and brought fire to the heart of every man and woman, in your hearts and mine, in the hope of finding room to grow and flourish. A dream named Jesus, sown by the Father in the confidence that it would grow and live in every heart. A dream running through our veins, thrilling our hearts and making them dance whenever we hear the command: “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:34-35).

A saint from these lands liked to say that, “Christianity is not a collection of truths to be believed, of rules to be followed, or of prohibitions. Seen that way it puts us off. Christianity is a person who loved me immensely, who demands and asks for my love. Christianity is Christ” (cf. Saint Oscar Romero, Homily, 6 November 1977). It means pursuing the dream for which he gave his life: loving with the same love with which he loved us. We can ask: What keeps us united? Why are we united? What prompts us to encounter each other? The certainty of knowing that we have been loved with a profound love that we neither can nor want to keep quiet about, a love that challenges us to respond in the same way: with love. It is the love of Christ that urges us on (cf. 2 Cor 5:14). A love that does not overwhelm or oppress, cast aside or reduce to silence, humiliate or domineer. It is the love of the Lord, a daily, discreet and respectful love; a love that is free and freeing, a love that heals and raises up. The love of the Lord has to do more with raising up than knocking down, with reconciling than forbidding, with offering new changes than condemning, with the future than the past. It is the quiet love of a hand outstretched to serve, a commitment that draws no attention to itself. Do you believe in this love? Is it a love that makes sense? This is the same question and invitation that was addressed to Mary. The angel asked her if she wanted to bear this dream in her womb and give it life, to make it take flesh. She answered: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). Mary found the courage to say “yes”. She found the strength to give life to God’s dream. The angel is asking the same thing of each of you, and of me. Do you want this dream to come alive? Do you want to make it take flesh with your hands, with your feet, with your gaze, with your heart? Do you want the Father’s love to open new horizons for you and bring you along paths never imagined or hoped for, dreamt or expected, making our hearts rejoice, sing and dance? Do we have the courage to say to the angel, as Mary did: Behold the servants of the Lord; let it be done? Dear young friends, the most hope-filled result of this Day will not be a final document, a joint letter or a programme to be carried out. The most hope-filled result of this meeting will be your faces and a prayer. Each of you will return home with the new strength born of every encounter with others and with the Lord. You will return home filled with the Holy Spirit, so that you can cherish and keep alive the dream that makes us brothers and sisters, and that we must not let grow cold in the heart of our world. Wherever we may be and whatever we may do, we can always look up and say, “Lord, teach me to love as you have loved us”. Will you repeat those words with me? “Lord, teach me to love as you have loved us”. We cannot conclude this first encounter without giving thanks. Thank you to all those who have prepared this World Youth Day with so much enthusiasm. Thank you for encouraging one another to build up and to welcome, and for saying “yes” to God’s dream of seeing his sons and daughters gathered. Thank you to Archbishop Ulloa and his team who have helped Panama to be today not only a channel that joins oceans, but also a channel where God’s dream continues to find new streams that enable it to grow, to multiply and to spread to every corner of the earth. Dear friends, may Jesus bless you and Santa Maria Antigua ever accompany you, so that we can say without fear, as she does: “I am here. Let it be done”. Taken From : https://saltandlighttv.org

Mother Teresa’s 15 Tips to Help You Become More Humble
The world does not value or understand the power of humility but we do, because it was what Jesus used to save us.Good self-esteem is confidence in one’s worth or abilities. Think about Mother Teresa. That little nun had good self-esteem. She even dared to speak against abortion at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1993 before her invited hosts President Bill Clinton, and Vice President Al Gore, and their spouses. That’s guts. That’s self-confidence. And that’s humility. All the saints understood that humility is the way to nail down a good self-esteem by depending on God rather than oneself. It’s the understanding that everything comes from God and that God is everything.Mother Teresa called humility the mother of all virtues. She said: “If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.” “Our greatest block to growing closer to God is when we rely more on us than on him,” Father Johnson said. By putting on the virtue of humility, he explained that we grow more confident and allow ourselves to grow closer to God. “When we look at a crucifix, we see a man who is humble and who is not about himself. We see a man who is for others. May we imitate that humility so that we can experience God in his fullness.” Ways to Become Humble Mother Teresa’s example proves all three of Fr. Johnson’s points. While she was head of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa kept a list of ways to cultivate humility for the sisters in her care. 1. Speak as little as possible about yourself. 2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others. 3. Avoid curiosity (she is referring to wanting to know things that should not concern you.) 4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others. 5. Accept small irritations with good humor. 6. Do not dwell on the faults of others. 7. Accept censures even if unmerited. 8. Give in to the will of others. 9. Accept insults and injuries. 10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded. 11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone. 12. Do not seek to be admired and loved. 13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity. 14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right. Choose always the more difficult task. The Power of Humility “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” —Saint Augustine The devil preferred to leave Heaven for eternity in Hell rather than to humble himself before his creator. And humility would have protected Adam and Eve from thinking they could disobey God and become like him. Yet through our humility and thus obedience to God, the devil is defeated. St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars, who was often harassed by the devil, related a conversation with him. The devil said: “I can do everything you do, I can also do your penances, I can imitate you in everything. There is one thing, however, that I cannot do, I cannot imitate you in humility.”

”That is why I defeat you,” St. John Vianney responded. Humility seems to be a contradiction, and yet, Jesus was meek and humble of heart (Matthew 11:29). “He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7) The world does not value or understand the power of humility but we do, because it was what Jesus used to save us. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28
Sent By : Fr. Bala Rajendram

05th – Tue – Rev. Fr. Dosmin Raj
07th – Thu – Rev. Fr. Clement Gnanapragasam, OSB
09th – Sat – Rev. Fr. Colvin Fernandopulle
18th – Mon – Rev. Fr. M. N. Leonard
22nd – Fri – Rev. Fr. D. Michael Sandanam, OSB
24th – Sun – Rev. Fr. Alexis R. Fernando

03rd – Sun – Rev. Fr. Denzil M. Perera
27th – Wed – Rev. Fr. Leonard Wijeratne
Rev. Fr. Malith Prasad

01st – Fri – Rev. Fr. Nilanka Dias (1st Year Anniversary)
02nd – Sat – Rev. Fr. D. Joseph Paggnani, OSB – Rev. Fr. Alexis Chiori, OSB
05th – Tue – Rev. Fr. Lanfrank Amerasinghe, OSB
10th – Sun – Rev. Fr. Lucian Perera