October 2017

Bishop’s Monthly Letter

My dear Fathers,
Mission Sunday is on the 22nd October and the theme given is “Witnessing Evangelization……. need of the time”. Throughout this year, we are endeavoring to be deeply inspired by the unparalleled missionary zeal and sanctity of St. Joseph Vaz, the beloved Apostle of Sri Lanka. All of us the Laity, Clergy and the Religious have been praying, asking the Lord to help us all to deepen our Baptismal commitment that we may become truly “a participatory and an evangelizing Church”. Let us therefore, emphasize with proper preparation, on the need for us to celebrate Mission Sunday meaningfully, in this Year of St. Joseph Vaz. As we have already discussed, at our Presbyteral meeting, we shall make next year an year, to further deepen our faith in view of becoming powerful witnesses to Jesus and the Gospel in all our parishes and in Catholic Institutions. Therefore, it is important to continue to follow in the footsteps of St. Joseph Vaz. In the months ahead all vicariates, parishes and institutions will begin to make their pastoral plans with this vision for 2018.
We are also aware that we are celebrating the Centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, this year. Our Blessed Mother repeatedly requested the little Saints Francisco and Jacintha to recite the Rosary with devotion. Francisco was told that he would have to recite many Rosaries before he would go to heaven. It is said that he used to recite as many as eight Rosaries a day.
The Holy Rosary though a simple prayer, has been proved to be very effective as our pleading, passes through the immaculate heart of Mary. Let us therefore, implement with great fervour, the “Million Rosaries Programme” launched by the organization of “Aid to the Church in Need”. They are practically the only Catholic organization who at the moment are supporting many pastoral projects and programs in the third world. They are very Catholic in their outlook and vision. The posters and other literatures have been already circulated to all the parishes. Please make ample use of these materials to encourage all the families to join in the campaign of “One Million Rosaries”, specially in the month of October. The 7th of October is the feast of the Holy Rosary and it is a Saturday. Therefore, please ask your Catechists and Holy Childhood animators to organize common recitation of the Holy Rosary in our Churches and Mission stations specially by our children.
Please invite the children and families to pray the Rosary to protect the unborn from being destroyed through abortion. The killing of innocent, unborn is a crime that cries to heaven for vengeance.
There will be a Thanksgiving Mass in our Cathedral for the 109 Martyrs of the Claretian Congregation. The Claretians have been very helpful to us in the Diocese by giving us their young priests to help in parishes to assist in pastoral work in many parishes specially when we were greatly handicapped by the shortage of Clergy in the Diocese several decades ago. We are grateful to them for their missionary solidarity even now.
Wishing all you, God’s blessings, as you carry out your pastoral duties with fervour and love, Yours devotedly in the Lord,

Bishop Vianney Fernando,
Bishop of Kandy

Bishop’s Engagements in October— 2017
1st to 7th – Clergy Retreat at Chalakudy
8th – Church Feast at Ragala
14th 10.00 a.m – Kandy Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting at Gatemb

15th 09.30 a.m – Golden Jubilee of the parish of Kawlahena, Lindula
16th 06.00 a.m – Diocesan Finance Committee Meeting
18th 09.30 a.m – Diocesan Commission for Justice, Peace and Human Development and Human Rights meeting at                                    SETIK

21st 08.30 a.m – Confirmation Service at the Cathedral 05.00 p.m – Thanksgiving Mass at the Cathedral to celebrate                                  the 109 martyrs of the Claretian
22nd to 27th – Preaching the Clergy Annual Retreat of the Diocese of Anuradhapura at St. Anne’s Shrine, Talawila


30th 05.00 p.m – A special Holy Mass at Nuwara Eliya 31st 10.00 a.m – Formation Committee meeting at St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary, Poornawatte.



Catechetical Apostolate – Programmes for the Month of October
Kandy Vicariate

Deanery Level Bible Competitions

Date ; 14th October 2017
Time ; 8.30 am
Place ; Good Shepherd Convent, Kandy

Catechists’ Revision Examination

Date ; 18th October 2017
Time ; 8.30 am
Place ; Good Shepherd Convent, Kandy

G.C.E (O/L) Seminar

Date ; 28th October 2017
Time ; 8.30 am to 4.00 pm
Place ; St. Anthony’s Cathedral Parish Hall, Kandy

Nuwara Eliya Vicariate

Deanery Level Bible Competitions
Date ; 14th October 2017
Time ; 8.30 am
Place ; St. Patrick’s College, Talawakelle

Catechists’ Revision Examination

Date ; 18th October 2017
Time ; 8.30 am
Place ; St. Patrick’s College, Talawakelle

Deanery Level Bible Competitions
Date ; 14th October 2017
Time ; 8.30 am
Place ; St. Agnes Convent, Matale

Matale Vicariate

Catechists’ Revision Examination

Date ; 18th October 2017
Time ; 8.30 am
Place ; St. Agnes Convent, Matale
Rev. Fr. Camillus Jansz, (Diocesan Catechetical Apostolate)



The Bishop, Clergy, Religious and the faithful offer our profound sympathy to
His Lordship the Bishop of Kurunagala, The Clergy , Religious and the faithful
on the passing away of Bishop Emeritus Rt. Rev. Dr. Raymond Peiris,
the first Bishop of the Diocese of Kurunagala.
May the good Lord grant him a place in his Kingdom
that is destined for His faithful ones. MAY HE REST IN PEACE

The Catholic Church and Abortion
By Fr. William Saunders
The Roman Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion — the direct and purposeful taking of the life of the unborn child. In principle, Catholic Christians believe that all life is sacred from conception until natural death, and the taking of innocent human life, whether born or unborn, is morally wrong. The Church teaches, “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being” (“Donum vitae,” 5).
The respect for the sacredness of life in the womb originates in Christianity’s Jewish roots. The ancient Jewish world was much different from the surrounding cultures of Palestine where infanticide, infant sacrifice and abortion were not uncommon, and in some cases prevalent. For the Jewish people of those times and orthodox Jews to this day, all human life has as its author the one God whose creative power produces the child in the mother’s womb and brings it step-by-step to full life. The Old Testament revelation, which the Church inherited and accepted, gives clear evidence that life in the womb was considered as sacred. Moses proclaimed, “When you hearken to the voice of the Lord, your God, all these blessings will come upon you and overwhelm you: May you be blessed in the city, and blessed in the country! Blessed be the fruit of your womb, the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock, the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks! Blessed be your grain bin and your kneading bowl! May you be blessed in your coming in and blessed in your going out!” (Dt 28:2-6). The angel told the mother of Sampson, “As for the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb” (Jgs 13:5). Job stated, “Did not he who made me in the womb make him? Did not the same one fashion us before our birth?” (Jb 31:15). In Psalm 139:13, we pray, “Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.”
The Old Testament also testifies how God had specially marked individuals for an important role of leadership from the very first moment of their lives: “Beloved of his people, dear to his Maker, dedicated from his mother’s womb, consecrated to the Lord as a prophet, was Samuel, the judge and priest” (Sir 46:13). The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “Hear me, O coastlands, listen, o distant peoples. The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb He gave me my name. He made of me sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of His arms. He made me a polished arrow; in His quiver He hid me. You are my servant, He said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God. For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as His servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to Him and Israel gathered to Him, and I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength!” (Is 49:1-5).
The Bishop, Clergy, Religious and the faithful offer our profound sympathy to

Likewise, the prophet Jeremiah recalled, “The word of the Lord came to me thus: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you” (Jer 1:4-5). Granted, some later rabbinic interpretations allowed exceptions for abortion, but there was no consistent or prevailing justification. The overriding Jewish teaching upheld the sanctity of the life of the unborn child. The Greco-Roman world at the time of our Lord and in which Christianity grew permitted abortion and infanticide. In Roman law, the two acts were really not distinguished because an infant did not have legal status until accepted by the pater familias, the head of the family; until accepted, the infant was a non-person who could be destroyed. In some parts of the Roman Empire, abortion and infanticide were so prevalent that reproduction rates were below the zero-growth level.
Nevertheless, the Christians upheld the sanctity of the life of the unborn child, not only because of the Old Testament revelation as cited but also because of the mystery of the incarnation. The early Christians, as we still do, believed that Mary had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and through her, Jesus Christ — second person of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father, and true God — became also true man. No faithful Christian would ever deny that Jesus was a true person whose life was sacred from the first moment of His conception in the womb of His blessed Mother Mary.

The story of the visitation further attests to the sanctity of life in the womb and the personhood of the unborn child: “Thereupon Mary set out, proceeding in haste into the hill country to a town of Judah, where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out in a loud voice: ‘Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy. Blest is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled’” (Lk 1:39-45).
Given the revelation of the Old and New Testaments, with special emphasis on the mystery of the incarnation, the Roman Catholic Church has condemned the practice of abortion. Several examples of teaching which span the first three hundred years of our Church include the following: The “Didache” (“The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles,” c. 80 A.D.) asserted, “You shall not procure abortion. You shall not destroy the newborn child.” The “Epistle of Barnabas” (138) also condemned abortion. Athenagoras (177) in his “A Plea on Behalf of Christians” (a defense against paganism) emphasized that Christians consider as murderers those women who take medicines to procure an abortion; he condemns the killer of children, including those still living in their mother’s womb, “where they are already the object of the care of divine providence.” Tertullian, (197) in his “Apologeticum” likewise asserted, “To prevent birth is anticipated murder; it makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or does away with it in its nascent stage. The one who will be man is already one.” In the year 300, the Council of Elvira, a local church council in Spain, passed specific legislation condemning abortion (Canon 63).
After the legalization of Christianity in 313, the condemnation against abortion remained. For instance, St. Basil in a letter to Bishop Amphilochius (374) clearly pronounces the Church’s teaching: “A woman who has deliberately destroyed a fetus must pay the penalty for murder” and “Those also who give drugs causing abortions are murderers themselves, as well as those who receive the poison which kills the fetus.”

While many other examples could be offered, the key point is that the Roman Catholic Church from the beginning has consistently upheld the sanctity of the life of the unborn child and condemned the act of direct abortion. To oppose this teaching contradicts the revelation of Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition. As our nation marks the anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, we as Catholic Christians must pray for a change of heart in all citizens and courageously teach and defend the sanctity of human life, particularly that of the defenseless, innocent unborn children. Taken From : Catholic News Agency

October Month of the Holy Rosary

The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. This is primarily due to the fact that the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated annually on October 7th. It was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful. The practice of dedicating the entire month of October to the Holy Rosary developed toward the end of the last century. Pope Leo XIII ( papacy: 1878-1903 ) strongly promoted the increase of devotion to the Blessed Mother by encouraging the constant use of the Rosary.

The Rosary is primarily a scriptural prayer. This can be summarized by the traditional phrase used by Pope Pius XII (papacy: 1939-1958) that the Rosary is ” a compendium of the entire Gospel”. The Rosary draws its mysteries from the New Testament and is centered on the great events of the Incarnation and Redemption. In this month of October, let us consider this beautiful prayer of the Rosary as a means that we too can use in order to draw closer to Jesus and Mary by meditating on the great mysteries of our salvation. Sent by Fr. Bala Rajendram

Mary’s Promises for Daily Devotion
The most amazing thing about the Rosary is that Mary made 15 promises to those who recite it daily. These aren’t insignificant promises, but rather enormously helpful graces provided to those who are trying to live a good and faithful Catholic life:

1. To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.

2. Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive signal graces.

3. The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against Hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and dispel heresy.

4. The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.

6. Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly, reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.

7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

8. Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.

9. I will deliver promptly from Purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.

10. True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in Heaven.

11. What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.

12. To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.

14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.
Sent By. Fr. Surendra Pragash

Pope: Welcoming, Protecting, Promoting and Integrating Migrants and Refugees

Message for 2018 World Migrant and Refugee Day, which will be celebrated next January 14th, released. Exhortations and suggestions for a reception that facilitates “personal encounter”. No to expulsion and aptitude. A law that guarantees citizenship in accordance with international rules. The care of minors. Ensure religious freedom for migrants. Aid to developing countries supporting the greatest number of refugees. Push the UN to approve the two global pacts on refugees and migrants.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The “Church’s concern” for “the sad situation of so many migrants and refugees fleeing wars, persecution, natural disasters and poverty”: This is what has pushed Pope Francis to express His attention to this “sign of the times” in a variety of ways since his visit to Lampedusa in 2013, to establish a “special section” for migrants in the new Dicastery for Integral Human Development. This solicitude – which he wants to share with “all believers and men and women of goodwill”, also urged him to publish today the Message for the World Day of Immigrant and Refugee 2018, to be celebrated next January 14, On “Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees”.

The “global” character of the Message is important: it is not only addressed to European or Western countries, but to all countries around the world, recalling that according to UN figures, 84% of refugees find shelter in Turkey (which accommodates 2, 9 million people), Pakistan (1.4 million), Lebanon (over one million), Iran (979,400 migrants), Uganda (940,800) and Ethiopia (761,600).

The Message carries the date of August 15, a day devoted to the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. The Pontiff recalls that “the Holy Mother of God herself experienced the hardship of exile (Matthew 2:13-15), lovingly accompanied her Son’s journey to Calvary, and now shares eternally his glory. To her maternal intercession we entrust the hopes of all the world’s migrants and refugees and the aspirations of the communities which welcome them, so that, responding to the Lord’s supreme commandment, we may all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves. ” The document addresses the “four verbs” of the theme with exhortations and suggestions.
Speaking about reception, the pope asks that migrants be given an ” increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas “. By refusing “collective and arbitrary” expulsion, he urges host countries to favor “a personal encounter and allow for greater quality of service and increased guarantees of success.”

Here the Pontiff proposes ” a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status “: “offering reliable and verified information before departure, and in providing safety from illegal recruitment practices “; ” guaranteeing them adequate consular assistance, the right to personally retain their documents of identification at all times, fair access to justice, the possibility of opening a personal bank account, and a minimum sufficient to live on.” Recalling that the skills and formation of migrants “are a true resource for the communities that welcome them,” he hopes that “in countries of arrival, migrants may be offered freedom of movement, work opportunities, and access to means of communication, out of respect for their dignity “.

Particular attention should be given to children who are entitled to “regular access to primary and secondary education” and “temporary custody or foster programmes should be provided for unaccompanied minors and minors separated from their families”. Reiterating the rejection of “statelessness,” he hopes that host countries will adopt “nationality legislation that is in conformity with the fundamental principles of international law” “for young children and those who have lived at length in the country.

“Migratory status – he says – should not limit access to national healthcare and pension plans, nor affect the transfer of their contributions if repatriated.”

In this section, the Pope encourages ” a determined effort to promote the social and professional inclusion of migrants and refugees, guaranteeing for all – including those seeking asylum – the possibility of employment, language instruction and active citizenship, together with sufficient information provided in their mother tongue. “; That “all foreigners present in the territory shall be guaranteed the freedom of profession and religious practice”; Humanitarian assistance and aid delivery especially to ” developing countries which receive a significant influx of migrants and refugees” and that “local communities which are vulnerable and facing material hardship, will be included among aid beneficiaries”.

Integration means favoring “intercultural enrichment” generated by the presence of migrants and refugees. Integration, it is explained, ” Integration is not “an assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or to forget their own cultural identity. Rather, contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret’, to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better. This is a lengthy process that aims to shape societies and cultures, making them more and more a reflection of the multi-faceted gifts of God to human beings”. ” For this reason Francis insists on the need to “foster a culture of encounter in every way possible – by increasing opportunities for intercultural exchange, documenting and disseminating best practices of integration, and developing programmes to prepare local communities for integration processes.”

An invitation to the world
True to the end of the Message, Francis emphasizes that ” In line with her pastoral tradition, the Church is ready to commit herself to realising all the initiatives proposed above. Yet in order to achieve the desired outcome, the contribution of political communities and civil societies is indispensable, each according to their own responsibilities “. That is why he invites faithful and people of good will “to take advantage of every opportunity to share this message with all the political and social actors involved.”

In this regard, the Pontiff recalls that “at the United Nations Summit held in New York on 29 September 2016, world leaders clearly expressed their desire to take decisive action in support of migrants and refugees to save their lives and protect their rights, sharing this responsibility on a global level. To this end, the states committed themselves to drafting and approving, before the end of 2018, two Global Compacts, one for refugees and the other for migrants”.

Sent By :Rev. Fr. Nandana Manatunga

Saint Damien of Molokai

A priest was sent but he and Damien did not hit it off. He was about ten years older than Damien, had a mercurial temperament, criticized just about everything Damien was doing and ordered him around. Eventually he was removed. Another priest, Fr. Albert Montiton, replaced him, but he was just as troublesome. He was in his fifties, was sickly and also found fault with everything Damien did. The future saint tried to get along with him and was happy to have a confessor. Another cross for Damien was the adultery and even prosti-tution in the huts (the residents lived either in huts and some in the hospital). At night some of the younger ones would steal out and go to a hula dance in a place at a short distance from the vil-lage. Damien would go out with his cane and when the dancers saw him coming they took off otherwise they would get a good whack with the cane. In 1876 he founded religious associations for the men, women and children and three years later he introduced adora-tion of the Blessed Sacrament with each adorer spending one half hour. Damien was edified to see, when an adorer was sick and not able to go to the church, he made his half hour of adora-tion in his bed. There were many orphan children in the settlement with some of them being of licit or illicit parents. Damien got permis-sion from the Board of Health to take them under his wing. He built two dormitories, one for boys and the other for girls. By 1883, he had 44 in his care. Ambrose Hutchison watched Damien at work for years and said, “[He was] a vigorous, forceful, impellent man with a gener-ous heart in the prime of life and a jack of all trades: carpenter, mason, baker, farmer, medic and nurse; no lazy bone in the make up of his manhood, busy from morning till nightfall.” One of Damien’s favorite saints was St. Francis of Assisi, who also encountered lepers, and is often depicted as a lover of ani-mals. Charles Warren Stoddard, a Catholic convert who spent time at Kakawao made this observation of Damien feeding his chickens: “He brought from his cottage into the churchyard a handful of corn, and, scattering a little of it on the ground, he gave a peculiar cry. In a moment his fowls flocked from all quar-ters; they seemed to descend out of the air in clouds; they lit upon his arms and fed out of his hands; they fought for footing upon his shoulders and even upon his head; they covered him with caresses and with feathers:’ Stoddard was also moved by Mass in the church of St. Philomena with the beautiful singing of the choir and the devo-tion of the lepers as they went up to receive Communion with sometimes a tongue emerging to receive the Host from a mouth half eaten away. The Board of Health was proud of Kalawao and a doctor, a world traveller who saw many leper settlements, said none com-pared with Kalawao. One might think that in such an environ-ment as a leper settlement there would be many suicides, but at Kalawao there were only two in thirty-five years up to 1900. An-other interesting fact was that the kokua, Hawaiian helpers who were not lepers, stayed as part of the settlement “year after year and decade after decade.’


Being among people with a contagious disease for twelve years, it was inevitable that Damien, being the man he was, would catch the disease himself. In the beginning he took the usual recom-mended precautions. He built a house for himself and according to the usual practice lepers were not to enter. But as a priest, it was necessary that he sometimes touch them. And physical contact, so much part of the Hawaiian culture, was important to them. Eventually, Damien must have felt he could not be a father to these people without touching and interacting with them. So per-haps within months of being in Kalawao he made his decision to abandon precautions, embracing the lepers, inviting them into his house, have them sleep in the house, sharing his pipe with them, eating with them and playing with diseased children. Dr. Arthur Mouritz, physician of the settlement wrote: “I have never seen any other priest, doctor, or other contact assume the same careless and indifferent attitude towards infection with leprosy as Fr. Damien…” When he first came in contact with a leper in Kalawao Damien felt an itching of his skin. This did not bother him but later he suspected that the germs of the disease might be in his body (it was said that someone could contract leprosy but would not see the symptoms for from 5 to 20 years). To be continued…………………………. Taken From : GARABANDAL JOURNAL / JULY-AUGUST 2017



Birth Days and Annversaries in October



Birth Days

05th  –  Thu    –  Rev. Fr. Niroshana de Zoysa


10th  –  Tue    –  Rev. Fr. Desmond Perera


20th  –  Fri    –  Very Rev. Fr. Milroy Fonseka


24th    Tue    –   Rev. Fr. Marian Anthony,


26th  –  Thu    –  Rev. Fr. Christy Paul


31st  –  Tue    –  Rev. Fr. A. Mathew