Battuluoya (AsiaNews) - With a week of prayer and assistance to the elderly, sick, alcoholics and drug addicts; the Sisters of the Holy Family in the province of Colombo are witnessing to Gospel values to mark the centenary of the parish of St. Anthony of Battuluoya. The anniversary of the small Catholic community, located in Northern Western Province, will be held on June 8.
Fernando, told AsiaNews that "the gesture helps us spiritually prepare the
men, women, youth and children for our Jubilee. One hundred years are an
important period and we must celebrate it with great care and faith. Through
the mission of the Sisters of the Holy Family we want to bring our faithful
closer to God. "
From May 20 to 26, the religious sisters from the mission in Colombo have visited one by one the 206 families in the parish, with the collaboration of Fr. Anura Gamalath, head of the local church. The title given to this particular visit is "Towards renewal through the spirit of the Holy Family." During the week, the nuns and Fr. Gamalath have verified the condition of all the 1,000 parishioners, trying to meet their material and spiritual needs, inviting them to follow with joy and to witness the example of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their families. "We wanted to give our parishioners something special - says Sr. Dammika - pushing them more and more into the arms of God, to reflect on their lives and to approach the future in a different way, through reading the Word of God and praying to the Rosary. "
Thanks to this "little" trip in the parish of Battuluoya, the women religious have met many needy families, seniors, young people who had lost their faith. Sister Henrietta Perera says that the sisters found at least 12 Catholics who lived without sacraments for years nine elderly people in serious health conditions in need of care. "We have met many men who did not go to church a lot - says the religious sister - and several have fallen into the drama of alcoholism. During these days we have helped all these people, inviting them to the parish to pray and follow the seminars on various issues organized in conjunction with fR. Gamalath and other parishioners, involving them in the preparations for the Jubilee. " The week ended with two great moments of prayer, which was attended by all the parishioners, the "Geetha bawanawa", a session of meditation and hymns sung on 25 May, and the solemn mass of 26 with the opportunity for all participants to approach confession.
Two elderly alcoholics tell AsiaNews that thanks to the attention of the missionaries they are trying to change their lives: "I never thought we could recover from this condition. We took up the nuns invitation and went to listen to the conference on the theme of addiction to drugs and alcohol, and we realized that we have neglected our lives and our family. " The initiative of the Sisters has also helped awaken many young people. Nirosha Hansini, a student of 20, notes that young people have never been involved in the parish life. Some do not even know each other. "The visit of the religious - she said - has given rise to new friendships, giving new life to our small community.