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John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

Bishop's Letter

BISHOP’S MONTHLY LETTER –March 2017

My dear Rev. Fathers, Sisters and Brothers

  •  Month of March takes us into the season of Lent. It is good to remind ourselves that the season ofLent is a time of prayer, fasting, abstinence and almsgiving. We should manifest the character of
    Lent in our liturgies as well as in our personal lives. The antiphon of Ash Wednesday, namely,“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel” should be resonant in our hearts and minds as we try to communicate this message to the faithful.
  • We are in the year of “St. Joseph Vaz”. The diocesan plan has been sent to you already. As you could see in that, there are certain things to be done at the level of the family, Sunday school, parish/church and the diocese. Trust that you have the ‘Year of Plan’ in front of you so that you may be reminded constantly as to what has to be done.
  • The New Church in Madamakele in Kumarakattuwa Parish was blessed last month. A beautiful Church has been constructed with the help of the parishioners and well-wishers. I am thankful to Fr. Dinesh Duminda for the initiative taken in this regard.
  • The Priestly Ordinations of the diocese was held last month. I am thankful to the Priests and Religious who attended the Ordination Ceremony. I wish to say that the liturgy in particular was well organized and helped a great deal to lift up our hearts in prayer to God during the ceremony.
  • Pottuvilluwa was officially declared a New Parish last month. It was carved out of Puttalam Parish in order to give better pastoral care for the Catholics both in the Puttalam and Pottuvilluwa parishes. Our prayerful best wishes to Fr. Augustin Amalraj who is the first Parish Priest of the new parish. We cannot forget the pioneering work done in this regard by Fr. Shelton Wijetunge. He faced a lot of hardships, cheerfully, to see the establishment of a parish one day.
  • In concurrence with the priests of the deanery, I have appointed Fr. Upali Churchil as the Dean of Bolawatte Deanery.
  • The Lenten Feast at Talawila will be on the 12 . Arrangements have been made for a meaningful Lenten experience for the pilgrims who come to Talawila.
  • “Janasaviya” Sedec building in Madampe is now available for programmes. It is well equipped with residential facilities with 50 beds. Your Parish, apostolate or any other programmes can be held there. You may contact Fr. Wyman Croos, the Director, for further information.
  • In the Political Circles one of the topics discussed these days is about relaxing the legislation on abortion. It is our duty as Priests and Religious to remind the faithful constantly about the gravity involved in abortion. “Human Life is sacred and inviolable at every moment of existence, including the initial phase which precedes birth. All human beings from their mothers’ womb, belong to God who searches them and knows them, who forms them and knits them together with His own hands, who gazes on them when they are tiny shapeless embryos and already sees in them the adults of tomorrow, whose name is even now in the “Book of Life” (cf. Ps.131:1, 13-16). When they are still in the mother’s womb, they are the personal objects of God’s loving and fatherly providence.” (Evangelium Vitae, 61). It is quite clear that according to Christian teaching the procured abortion is murder of a defenseless child and therefore a grave sin. Relaxing the laws on abortion for any reason, such as rape, incest, etc… will create an ambiguity regarding sin resulting a negative impact on the formation of conscience. Let us make use of this Lenten Season to conscientize our flock about the teachings of the Sacred Scripture and Catholic tradition on the sacredness of life at all levels starting from the moment of conception.

Asking the Lord to Bless you.
Yours devotedly in Christ,
+D. Valence Mendis,
Bishop of Chilaw

 

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