Sri Lankan woman convert from Buddhism to become a Catholic bride with great joy
by Melani Manel Perera

Dilani Dharshani, 25, has a Buddhist father and a Catholic mother. She grew up going to Mass with her mother, and praying in her own unique way. Her path to conversion lasted more than a year under a nun’s guidance. She is looking forward to becoming "the daughter of God".

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Dilani Dharshani, 25, came close to Christianity through her mother, who wanted a Catholic groom for her. Now, "With great joy I will be a Catholic bride in God’s presence," she told AsiaNews.

A Buddhist, she thought long and hard about leaving her faith since "for so many years I went to the temple and I was used to seeing the symbols of Buddhism."

Eventually, she heeded the advice of Sister Freeda, a nun from the convent of the Holy Family of Naalawalana, who has been her spiritual guide on the path of faith.

The sister invited her to be inspired "from the life and teachings of Jesus and put them into practice" in her own life, then reminded her that "God does not just choose anyone. He chooses one in a thousand."

Dilani was born into a family with a Buddhist father and a Catholic mother. She said that since she was little she went to church with her mother, "not always, but certainly on feast days. I also recited the prayers in my own unique way."

She grew up with the example of her mother who also went to the temple out of respect for her father. But when it was time to choose a groom for her daughter, she told Dilani that she would like her to be the wife of a Catholic man. For her part, Dilani did not object since she had been immersed in the Christian faith at home since she was little.

When she was introduced to Rodny Sheron Fernando, she was very happy. When her future family-in-law asked her to convert before marriage, she had some doubts. Until then she had followed her mother’s example who, while living in a mixed marriage, also attended Buddhist ceremonies.

Likewise, she had always lived in an area full of Buddhist religious symbols, and the idea of ​​moving to a Catholic village at first frightened her.

In the end, faith in God was stronger than any other remorse she might have had, and now she is ready to marry before the Lord. For more than a year, she has followed a reflection course, led by Sister Freeda. She received her baptism on 5 April, and her communion on 11 April.

The marriage with Rodny will be celebrated on 6 May in the Church of Our Lady of Suffering in Nainamadama, in the diocese of Chilaw (on the west coast of Sri Lanka).

Dilani is waiting for that moment with trepidation, because "my boyfriend has a kind heart and loves me a lot."

"I am happy that God has chosen me among a thousand. Thanks to this marriage, I will become his daughter."

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