175th Anniversary of the advent of the Oblates in Sri Lanka

Oblates mark their 175 years of historical presence in Sri Lanka. It is recorded that “Accompanied by three of his ‘confreres’ the Frs. Ciamin, and Keating and the Lay Brother Gaspard de Stephanis, and with Mgr. Bettacchini at the head of the Missionary caravan, Fr. Sameria embarked at Marseilles on the 21st of October, 1847. Another three weeks were spent in crossing the Indian Ocean and on the 28th of November 1847 the party disembarked at Galle which was at the time the port of call for vessels. Mgr. Bettacchin, the new Vicar Apostolic of Jaffna left Colombo on the 2nd of February, 1848 taking along with him his Oblate missionaries”, (Phillips Jesuthasan, Gleanings from the Oblate mission field in Ceylon).

Celebrating the 175 years of Oblate presence is outstandingly historical and also victorious to all Oblates and to the Church of Sri Lanka. Journeying along with them in “Exsultate et Jubilate” and with the theme “Let us write a new path of the Gospel with Mazenodian creativity and commitment”, we will remain grateful to all the Oblates of the past. Our Founder would say, “They are the first stones, the foundation stones of the edifice”.

This jubilee resounding will be echoed throughout the world of the Oblates serving in every part of Sri Lanka and also from all over the world to come together in heart and mind to thank God for their greater achievement that the Oblates are proud of.

We, the Provinces of Jaffna and Colombo step forward in rejoicing to celebrate the 175th Jubilee next year, 2022. Initially the inaugural ceremony will be hosted by the Province of Jaffna on the 14th of February, 2022. Together we will celebrate, and together we will share our sentiments of happiness and gratitude to God.

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