04/12/2022, 18.08
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COVID-19 orphans in Colombo received Lent offerings

by Melani Manel Perera

The archdiocesan Caritas is behind the initiative, despite the country’s very serious economic situation. “We are in trouble, but I think God has blessed us many times,” said the father of one family.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Despite the economic crisis that has caused havoc in Sri Lanka, with a large part of the population calling for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Church continues to support the neediest.

Caritas Seth Sarana, the welfare agency of the archdiocese of Colombo, has sponsored a fundraiser during Lent to help school children and young people affected by the long COVID-19 epidemic.

Families were asked to make a donation to mark the Passion of Jesus. This year’s theme is “Let my cry come before you, Lord”. The Church will use the offerings to fund charity activities as well as spiritual, economic and social development.

At Caritas Seth Sarana, “we respond to the requests of the needy sent to us through parish priests, to improve the life of the parishioners most in difficulty,” said Fr Lawrence Ramanayake, the director.

“This year, special focus will be on the education of children who lost their parents to COVID-19 and to their future aspirations,” he added. “Some of the Lent offerings will also go to teachers who, as volunteers, have dedicated their time to Catholic children.”

Although the agency is turning God’s word into action, placing the last first, the country’s serious crisis has placed many parents in a difficult predicament since they cannot donate any money because of the terrible economic crisis.

“We are going through a very troubled time,” said Matilda Ratnayake, speaking to AsiaNews. “I don't know when we will be able to breathe peacefully,” added the mother of three small children from the parish of Jaela St Mary. “When the church asks us to donate, it is a headache for us because we are not able to do it as before.”

For Milroy Dhanushka, things are different. “We are in trouble, but I think God has blessed us many times,” said the father of three small children, from the parish of Ragama. “For this reason, despite the difficulties, I decided to contribute.”

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