The year 2014 was declared as the “Marian Year” by His Eminence Malcom Cardinal Ranjith. Throughout the year there were various spiritual programmes organised at diocese level as well as parish levels. For example, worshiping at the Shrine of Madhu during the month of May, reciting the rosary at every church on 08 September on account of the birthday of the mother Mary and expressing our love to her by cutting a cake, honouring the blessed mother by organising rosary rallies and confessions, which sacrament the Blessed Mother requested during her apparitions to St. Bernadette at Lourdes. The main purpose of this exercise was to create an awareness amongst the worshipers about the happenings in the life of Mother Mary and thereby to awaken their spirit and bring peace to the lives of the people.
This spiritual programme took place at the Shrine of our Lady of Lourdes in France from 25 to 27 September. Among the large gathering of worshippers about 2000 were Sri Lankans. The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo His Eminence Malcom Cardinal Ranjith led the Sri Lankan delegation that included Auxiliary Bishops Rt. Rev. Maxwell Silva, Rt. Rev. Emanuel Fernando and 70 priests from parishes all over the country. This was a unique occassion for the Catholic Church.
In addition a group of pilgrims numbering 34 from the Sri Lankan Catholic Chaplaincy in the UK travelled from London to participate in the worship and spiritual programmes that took place during the three days from 25 September. This included a mass in Sinhala, Way of the Cross that depicts the passion of Christ, the confessions, reciting the rosary and at the end, the special rosary rally that carried the statue of Mother Mary in the procession. This rally enlightened the hearts of the pilgrims participated in a great measure.
Rev Fr. Prasad Niranjan, the Chaplain of the Sri Lankan Sinhalase Catholic Chaplaincy also participated and the programme was lightened up by the singing of the choir conducted by Fr Prasad. He is a well talented and a qualified musician and was the former Vice Rector of St Sabastian’s College Moratuwa.
Another significant event at this occasion was that the committee of the Sri Lankan Sinhalese Catholic chaplaincy handing over a sum of £2043.00 to the Auxiliary Bishop, Rev. Maxwell Silva as a donation to repair the buildings of two selected poor schools. This money was handed over with the expectation of crediting back to the Chaplaincy account from the income expected at the Christmas get together to be held on 06 December 2014.