Sri Lankans on a pilgrimage to Our Lady against abuse in the family and at work
by Melani Manel Perera
A group of 45 women from the Archdiocese of Colombo took part in a retreat at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Tewatte. Their day was divided between the Via Crucis, the recitation of the Rosary and Mass.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Praying in communion is stronger than doing it alone. It is an opportunity to come together as one family and meditate on our lives, brought closer to each other by our experience of pain," said some of the 45 women who met to pray at a gathering at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Tewatte last Saturday.

Participants, all from the Archdiocese of Colombo, shared stories of abuse: in the family, from their husbands, in the workplace. During the meeting, they carried out a Via Crucis, recited the rosary and ended the day with a Mass.

"It is a great consolation to be here together, with our experiences," a woman from Moratuwa told AsiaNews. "Through the Way of the Cross, we reflected on our lives: how we were and how we are today, on what mistakes we made and how we can resolve them. Finally, we determined not to make them again."

Sister Nilanthi Ranasinghe, coordinator for the Sri Lanka Asian Movement of Women Religious against Human Trafficking (AMRAT), organised the brief retreat.

"Every year, we prepare spiritual exercises for these women," the nun told AsiaNews. "This year, we meditated on the Passion of Christ and Mother Mary's love."

During the Stations of the Cross, Sister Nilanthi had participants reflect on their responsibilities as mothers and wives, asking them to look inside themselves to find the dangerous challenges that lie in their path.

The nun then asked them to pray for all the young girls who have lost hope and faith in Jesus because of the bad things that have happened in their lives.

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