The ceremonies took place on Saturday and Sunday. The Catholics also brought to a close the Year dedicated to Saint Joseph Vaz. During the Anglican ceremony, Rev Priyantha Wijegoonewardene took office as the new general secretary of the Ceylon Bible Society.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – Sri Lanka’s Catholics and Anglicans have begun the new year by dedicating it respectively to the Good Shepherd and to Children and Youth.
Their ceremonies took place last Saturday and Sunday in Colombo, at St Lucy’s Catholic Cathedral, and at the (Anglican) Church of Ceylon’s Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour.
In the latter, Rev Priyantha Wijegoonewardene took office as the new secretary general of the Ceylon Bible Society (CBS), which prints and hands out Bibles across the island nation.
Card Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of the capital, led the Catholic service. Auxiliary Bishop Mgr Maxwell Silva, Fr Ganapragasam and several other priests co-celebrated it.
The Mass – officiated in English, Sinhala and Tamil – was also the occasion to bring to a close officially the Year dedicated to Saint Joseph Vaz, the Apostle of Sri Lanka.
Speaking about 2018, Card Ranjith said, "When Pope Francis was elected new pontiff in 2013, he said he wanted a loving, tender and merciful Church, in which every believer could experience the love of Jesus. This is why we dedicate the year (2018) to the Good Shepherd".
Afterwards, the prelate invited the country’s priests to "understand their flock (the Christian people), love them and protect them as the Good Shepherd did."
On Saturday, the Anglican community met to inaugurate 2018 as the Year of Children and Youth. In addition to the cardinal of Colombo and other prelates, Mass was attended by Archbishop Phêrô (Pierre) Nguyễn Văn Tốt, apostolic nuncio to Sri Lanka.
“One of the main focus of the Ceylon Bible Society has been youth and children for a very special reason during the past years,” said the Anglican Church in a statement.
“From our past experience, it is evident that youth and children need more Biblical knowledge and encouragement to lead a contented family life. Youth and children have been the centre of our ministry since the future of the Church depends on them.”