07/28/2009, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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The Diocese of Colombo welcomes 14 new Ministers for the Eucharist

by Melani Manel Perera
On July 26 they received their mandate in the chapel of the Archbishop's house. There are now 65 in the diocese of Colombo. Men and women between 40 and 65 years who work with the priests in particular to bring communion to the sick in hospitals and homes throughout the city.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Diocese of Colombo has 14 new ministers for the Eucharist: on July 26 they received their mandate in the chapel of the Sacred Heart in the home of the Archbishop in Borella.   In the diocese of the capital of Sri Lanka there are 65 ministers aged between 40 and 65 years. They are lay men and women, who work with the 350 priests who have been entrusted the 126 parishes in the capital and care of about 680 thousand faithful.

Fr. Joy Perera, director of liturgy for the archdiocese, explains to AsiaNews that the lay ministers are a very important resource for the local Church in particular for their role in bringing communion to the sick in hospitals or in homes throughout the city. "The development of this figure within the Christian community is a result of Vatican II," says Fr Perera, "I have long encouraged our laity in this direction and it has been a slow development that took place in tandem with the emergence of the centrality of the Eucharist in their lives”.  

The 14 new ministers are from the parishes of Columbo and the religious institutions of the city. Fr. Perera says: "This year we received 36 applications and after a process of verification of the applications we have chosen these 14”. They had to follow a course of 7 months of formation, courses on scripture, liturgy and the canons and dogmatic aspects of the sacrament of the Eucharist. During the course, they met and spoke several times with the bishop and his vicars to better understand the task entrusted to them and the responsibilities of their office.

Nelum Lukeman, 53 year old worker and mother of the family of the parish of All Saints at Borella, explains: "We operate only within the confines of our parish and in some hospitals. I am very happy that the Lord has chosen me for this service and that two other people in my parish have become ministers of the Eucharist today. It is a way to continue to make our contribution to the life of the parish and help our priests in their mission. "

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