Oblate Grand Mission
The Oblate Grand Mission has a very long history (159 years) in the Province of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The very first Grand Mission was inaugurated by great and energetic missionaries, viz. Bishop Semeria, OMI, Fr. Bonjean, OMI, and Fr. Constant Chounavel, OMI, on 26 December 1858 (http://www.omiworld.org/en/dictionary/historical-dictionary_vol-2_j/1766/jaffna-sri-lanka/).
Six Oblates from Oblate preaching community conducted a Grand Mission at St. Sebastian’s Cathedral, Mannar for 36 days, i.e., from the 22nd of January to the 26th of February, 2017 with the support of few Oblates from other communities, viz., CRADA, Gnanodhayam, Anpaham and Amala Utpavam.
The Grand mission included mainly family visiting (2100 families), zonal masses, seminars on different themes on weekends, Eucharistic celebrations for the students at the schools as well as in the Zones, AGAPE at the zonal level, rectification of marriages and administering the sacrament of initiation for the converts from other religions and the children from the catholic families who have not received these sacraments at the proper time.
The faithful were very enthusiastic and participated in the mission activities in a very active Manner. The priests of the diocese, particularly the parish priest, and other religious working in the parish were very appreciative of the Grand mission. The Grand mission came to an end with the official closure of Eucharistic celebration which was presided over by the Vicar General of the Diocese, followed by a cultural programme in the evening.