Felicitation from Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Ponniah, the Bishop of Batticaloa on the Inauguration of the Jubilee

I am indeed delighted to convey the felicitation and God’s blessing to all the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Sri Lanka both Jaffna province and Colombo province on the occasion of 175thanniversary of their life and presence in Sri Lanka. Oblates care of the eastern region that is Trincomalee – Batticaloa diocese is mentioned in 1857 by Fr.Lang, SJ,a historian. He says that Oblates were present in Trincomalee – Batticaloa diocese in some parishes. The service of the Oblate missionaries in Sri Lanka as pioneers of the missionary work in Sri Lanka enabled the implantation of Christianity by way of evangelization, proclaiming the Good News, establishing small communities, building small churches as well as schools close by. These might have been done in the footstep of St. Joseph Vaz.  What I admire in the early missionaries is that they never excluded the one who came in contact with them. On the contrary they followed the virtue of the Good Samaritan who saw in man by the road not a member of another race, another cast, another language or another faith but a brother in need – one who deserves welcome and respect. That is why they were able to build up small communities in spite of all the challenges that they had come across. While appreciating all the Oblate missionaries of the past and present I assure you all of my prayers and blessings for your vision and missions to be successful.

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