Sri-Lankan Catholic Community

Overview

“Service through Unity”  is the mission of the Sri Lanka Catholic Community which comprises of all  the Srilankan  Catholics  irrespective of the Nationality.

Short History

On the 28th of April 1984, a group of Sri Lankan Catholics based in Bahrain met at the residence of Mr. Joe Fernando to form the Sri Lanka Catholic Association.

The group comprised of Mr. Edward Cooray, Bernie De Silva, Linus Paiva, Patrick Fernando, Francis Benedict, Gnaprakasam, Paterson De Silva and Clarence Silva.

The inaugural meeting of the Association was held on 18th May 1984, at the Sacred Heart Church, graced by Rev. Fr. Adrian who blessed the gathering of about 34 men and women who were the first members of the Association, and wished them all success in this pioneering effort. The purpose of this association was to assist the Sri Lankan Catholics based in Bahrain, in their spiritual activities, and render any assistance that they may require in their lives in this foreign land.

On the 29th of June 1984 the first Holy Hour was allocated for the Sri Lankan Catholics in the parish. This was attended by large number of worshippers who participated in the prayers very actively.

Meetings of the association was conducted every month at the residence of one of the committee members on a regular basis.

Regular and Spiritual Activities

A coordinating Committee for the Sri Lankan Catholic Community is appointed by the Parish Priest in consultation with the Spiritual Director to carry out all Spiritual and social activities of the Sri Lankan Catholics in Bahrain.  This committee is responsible to organize the following activities within the framework of the Sacred Heart Parish.

Holy Mass in Sinhalese Language Every second Friday of the Month at 11:30AM
Intercessory Prayers Every Wednesday from 6:30PM to 7:30PM
Recitation of the Holy Rosary at the Grotto Every Saturday after 6:30PM Holy Mass
Lenten Activities Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent at 11:30AM
Good Friday Special Service with Stations of the Cross in Sinhalese at 9:00AM in the Mother Church.
Half and hour adoration at the Altar of Repose on Maundy Thursday.
Easter Sunday Holy Mass in Sinhalese at 11:30AM in the Mother Church
Christmas Day Mass in Sinhalese at 11:30AM in the Mother Church
Black Rosary in conjunction with the Legion of Mary - as requested by the Sri Lankan Parishioners
Other Activities Penitential Rite Services for Lent and Christmas in Sinhalese
Annual Visit by a Sri Lankan Priest conduct Holy Mass every Friday, retreat, seminars and other services in Sinhalese (confession, counseling, baptism)
Social Gatherings, fun activities outdoors for the families Organized by the committee

Holy mass in Sinhalese on Second Friday of the month

Seeing the need for services in Sinhalese Language, the assistant priests of the parish took the task of saying the Holy Mass in Sinhalese. Edward Cooray, Rienzie Perera andEmil Fernando were some of our members who had taken great pain and sacrifice to sit with these priests and help them to interpret the Holy Mass in Sinhalese. Rev. Fr. Lester, Rev. Fr. Anthony Mathais, Rev. Fr. Oswin and presently Rev. Raphy Vallachira whose services in this respect is greatly appreciated.

The Sinhalese Mass is conducted every second Friday of the month. The first anniversary of celebrating the Mass in Sinhalese was held on 13th September 1996.  This service continues to date.

This has been a major spiritual requirement  for some of the  community members who couldn’t attend other masses  celebrated  in  English.

Annual visit by a Srilankan Priest

Rev. Fr. Anthony Philip Malawiachchi who was the first Sri Lankan Catholic Priest to visit us in this parish, during the months of April/May 1992. A visit by a Sri Lankan Priest became a regular feature in our calendar. We had visits from Rev. Fr. Neil Dias Karunaratne  …..199, Rev. Fr. Nilendra ….. Rev. Fr Anthony Fernando 1997, and Rev. Fr. RexPillai  1999 ,2000, 2001 . , and Rev. Fr. Sarath peries ( 2006) .

The community look forward to these visits as most of the Sinhalese Catholics were at ease  in participating the Holy Mass, Confession , Councelling  and other religious activities in their mother tongue. The Community is  very thankful to Rev. Fr. Felicio Diniz  and Rev. Fr. Thomas Quodros who had invited these Sri Lankan Priests to the parish to serve the community.

During the visits by the Sri Lankan visiting priests, the association has held special mission in Sinhalese and baptism of non catholic Srilankans who have completed the requiredCatechesim classes. Prison visits and concelebrating Holy Mass at some of the Garment Manufacturing factories for the benefit of the staff who are unable to attend services at the church.

Recitation of Holy Rosay at Grotto

The recitation of the Rosary at the grotto every Saturday after Mass was s feature introduced in 1993 and has continued every Saturday, except on the Saturday the draw for the family day raffle is held.

Black Rosary

The black Rosary with the statue of Our Blessed Mother was started on 19th May 1998 and has continued since.

Intercessory prayers

Intercessory prayers are conducted in every Wednesday at 6:30 to 7:30 pm in the Blessed Sacrement Chapel in Sinhala Language and once in a month in English Language.

Common Parish Activities

The Sri Lankan Catholic Community has participated in every event conducted by the parish whether it is religious or social, contributing in every way as one untied family of the Sacred Heart parish.

Parish Canteen

Running the Parish Canteen at least once a month according to the roster prepared by the Parish  is one of the social activities.

Parish Family day

The Sri Lankan food and tea stall at the ‘Family Day’ is patronized by many parishioners to taste the Sri Lankan delicacies served during the day. The ‘hoppers’ and the ‘egg hoppers’ served for dinner has many curious customers who come back for more every family day.

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