Felicitation from Rt. Rev. Dr. Christian Noel Emmanuel, Bishop of Trincomalee on the Inauguration of the Jubilee

I am really happy to be here to be a part of your celebration inaugurating 175 years of the presence and the service of the Oblates in Sri Lanka. ‘Go and preach’, ‘Go and baptize’, ‘preach to all nations’ are the mandates given by our Lord. And all the baptized are expected to take up this particular mandate and go and preach by living a Christian way of life. The Congregation of the missionary Oblates of Mary immaculate was founded in 1816 by St. Eugene De Mazonad and it is 206 years old. And we have Sri Lankan Oblates celebrating 175 years of their presence.

In Trincomalee we had Oblates serving at Nilaveli and later after the division of the diocese it was divided into three parishes Sampalthevu, Nilaveli and Kuchchaveli. And Oblate Province continues to take care of the Kuchchaveli mission. We also have Oblates who served and continue to serve in different parishes, Paalaiyoothu, Sampalthevu, Guadalupe, Iruthayapuram and many other places. So at present we have Oblates guarding the northern and southern part of the diocese, Kuchchaveli and Iruthayapuram. We also have our Oblates serving at schools at St Joseph’s college and St. Antony’s, Muttur.  We have priests taking care of hospital and prison ministry. The presence of the Oblates in Trincomalee from time to time varies. Their contribution and their committed services also added to the growth of the diocese. And I thank each and every one of you specially Provincials of Jaffna and Colombo for providing priests to serve in the diocese of Trincomalee.

Oblates in general serve various purposes in Sri Lanka. Especially commission for migrants ministry which include hospitals, prison, seafarers, tourists and migrants internally as well as those going abroad.  We also have Oblates serving in different parts of the country in the field of education especially as principals, teachers and as collaborators.  We also have Oblates playing a very important and key role of preaching, taking up the recollection talks, preaching the annual retreats to priests and religious and grand mission preaching in parishes. I wish all missionary Oblates in Sri Lanka a fruitful Jubilee Year. May you bring joy and consolation to all whom you serve.

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