Annual feast of Most Precious Blood at Pamunugama church
Church of Most Precious Blood at Pamunugama
ANNUAL FEAST: Pamunugama parish celebrates the annual feast of the
Most Precious Blood on July 01 for the 139th year in succession since
its inauguration in 1868 by Rev. Fr. Sylvester Papili (OSB) who took
over the then parish of Pamunugama, comprising 15 churches, as his very
first parish as a foreign Missionary.
Pamunugama, happens to be the only Shrine in Sri Lanka and in this
part of Asia dedicated to the Most Precious Blood and blessed with the
ancient devotion, one of the oldest in the Catholic church. Rev. Fr.
Papili joined the Benedictine Order of the Sylvestrian Congregation and
in 1865 was ordained a priest.
In the same year he was sent to Sri Lanka as a foreign missionary and
was assigned the parish of Pamunugama in 1866.
Fulfilling his aspiration as a student-priest, he founded the
confraternity of the Most Precious Blood in the Pamunugama parish and
through the assistance of Bishop Hilarian Sillani, the Vicar Apostolic
of the Southern Diocese of the country, he affiliated this confraternity
to the ‚ÄėPrima Primaria‚Äô the Arch Confraternity of the Most Precious
Blood of the Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood in Rome.
Through this affiliation, the confraternity of the Most Precious
Blood of Pamunugama became entitled to all special Papal concessions to
this Arch Confraternity and all its affiliates the world over, to
celebrate the feast of Most Precious Blood as a liturgical feast on
first Sunday in July annually. This year on July 01 we celebrate this
historic feast for the 139th year in succession from its inception in
This Confraternity (now union) of the Most Precious Blood which was
silent for some time, has since been revived and revitalised and every
effort is being made to restore it to its former historical position. On
every first Friday of the month, Holy Hour in honour of the Most
Precious Blood is held at St. Joseph‚Äôs church, Pamunugama from 6.30 p.m.
to 7.30 p.m. On other Fridays, special Precious Blood devotion is held
at the same time in the church.
Historical Ketchimala Mosque, Beruwela marks Bukhari Grand Feast
‚ÄúRathu Palliya‚ÄĚ at First Cross Street, Colombo
Pic by Mahinda Vithanachchi.
Grand Feast: The Annual Bukhari Muslim Feast at the Beruwela Sea-Side
Mosque known as Ketchimala will be held on June 23 and 24. The Grand
Thammam (Final) will take place on Sunday 24 at 9.30 a.m. The Bukkari
Muslim recital, sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) commenced over 110
years by His Holiness Most Respected His Eminence Haji Fakirul Muqqadam
Ash Sheik Ba-Fakir Ba Alavi Mowlana.
The highlight of the proceedings of this recital was relayed live
from Beruwela by then Radio Ceylon in 1951 and has been relayed by
S.L.B.C. Muslim Service.
This was considered as the first Muslim outstation broadcasting by
Radio Ceylon. It‚Äôs almost 56 years, since then.
The Ziyarath Ceremony with the recital of Rathibul Haddad takes place
immediately after Isha Prayer at the Shrine of Ash Sheik Ashraff
Voliullah on Saturday the 23rd June 2007 at 8 p.m.
What is Ketchimala?
Ketchimala. I may state the mosque is situated in the hill tops,
which is covered West, South and East side by the silent sea.
This description is in the famous book ‚ÄúSilk Route‚ÄĚ by Ibn Batura has
history dating back to the 14th century when the original Muslim
settlers settled down at Beruwela. There was the Custom premises
adjoining this land and presently occupied by Fisheries Harbour
Visit of Sir Arthur Gordon, Governor
It was in the year 1882, when the then Governor of Ceylon Sir Arthur
Gordon was on his official visit to Galle on Horse Carriage. The Horses
miraculously on its own, changed the usual route at Beruwela and took
the present Customs Road and knelt down at the foot step leading to the
Shrine of Ash Sheik Ashraf Voliullah and refused to move there from.
The Governor, Sir Arthur Gordon, was so taken an felt that there is
some spiritual significance attached to this Ketchimala premises.
He then made inquiries from those gathered there to learn in was the
TOMB of His Holiness Ash Sheik Ashraf Voliullah. The Governor
immediately instructed his secretary who too was in the official tour to
make arrangements to donate that partition of the land as a gift from
His Majesty King George of England.
The instruction was given by his secretary to the Government Agent of
Kalutara to give the land to the elder brother of His Holiness.Ash Sheik
Mohommed Abdullah Sheik Abdul Cader was made the posser of this land and
later this land was transferred to His Holiness Sheik Mohommed Abdullah
Alim Hadjiar. The original of this historic document is available with
The present Mosque took its shape from the assistance from
well-wishers and the beginning of the Bukhari Muslim recital.
This feast is patronised by Muslims from all parts of the Island.
They arrive by private vehicles and public transport approximating with
over 50 thousand muslims gathering at Beruwela on these two days.
Law and order, traffic arrangements are taken care of by the Beruwela
Police. A team from St. John‚Äôs Ambulance is to attend to the needs of
the people on this day.
Infant Jesus Church - Imbulgoda
Nestled amidst an ancient coconut estate lies,
A church dedicated to Infant Jesus
Perhaps the parishioners Cries Heard in Heaven.
A donor stretched out his hand,
Most willingly, ungrudgingly gifted for a Church a part of his land
The Great God aware of his generous act,
Has not forgotten him, but blesses him much, A true fact
Now He‚Äôs away in Heaven, watching us from above
His gift has helped us.
Thanks and praises sing,
Together under one roof, To Jesus Christ our lord and King -
The church that was still, for two decades or more
Now much life lingers within it again we know,
God‚Äôs chosen shepherd among us now,
His flock to lead to Heaven is doing his best somehow,
Parishioners rich, poor, young, old;
Listen to my clarion call,
Let‚Äôs all join hands and follow him;
lest we fall
On the correct path his flock to guide,
All that he is doing - Let‚Äôs not hide,
Organizing seminars, visiting sick, blessing marriages,
spiritual director, what more?
From dawn to dusk as busy as a bee:
Yet says ‚ÄėNo‚Äô.
On receiving invitations; from who ever it be
Rich poor, high or low or it many be you or me,
Wake up, wake up to you all I say
Ask God to bless our shepherd today and everyday
Let the road be rough and
Foot it bravery strong or weary
‚ÄúNo matter what may come to pass
Gods precious word still stands
The universe is held in tact
Within his mighty hands.‚ÄĚ
Hijaab, a sign of modesty and progress
Modesty: Many years ago, a US Christian Missionary, introduced to me
at my friend‚Äôs home in London, questioned why Muslim women were
subjugated in Islam. Taken aback by her rather untimely outburst before
any pleasantries can be exchanged, I can only shake my head and then
smile at her ignorance. But, she was not alone.
The West routinely accuses Islam of oppressing women, and the issue
of Hijaab (head and body covering) is at the forefront of this
propaganda harassment. In many countries all over the world, Muslims
wearing Islamic dress face problems in educational institutions, at
work, in the court system, and on the streets.
In some nations, most notably in Turkey, the right to wear Islamic
attire is limited by the State, and those who dress Islamically can be
labelled as ‚Äėfundamentalists‚Äô and deprived of rights that other citizens
A prime example is Nuray Canan Bezirgan. She was a medical student at
Istanbul University. She was sentenced to six months in jail because
she wore a head-scarf to her exams. The sentence was later commuted to a
fine. It‚Äôs like telling a Buddhist Monk to take off the robe off every
time he visits a public building or risk imprisonment.
What is troubling is that Ms. Bezirgans religious rights were denied
in a country where the Muslims are a majority. This denial by the
Turkish Governments liberal secularists is so profound that they are
willing to push aside their own basic principle of individual freedom to
stave off the imaginary ‚Äėoppressive‚Äô influences of Islam.
So, why is Hijaab so controversial to the West? I believe that there
are two main factors among a plethora of reasons. First, it is ignorance
of anything Islamic. Secondly, it is institutionalized stereotyping.
Before explaining the Islamic position, many readers are probably
unaware that the subject of Hijaab is nothing new to either Christians
or Judaism. It is well-known that Catholic Nuns have been covering their
heads for many centuries as a sign of piety, but that is not all.
St. Paul in the New Testament made some very interesting statements
about the veil: ‚ÄúAnd every woman who prays or prophesies with her head
uncovered dishonours her head - it is just as though her head were
If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off;
and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved
off, she should cover her head.‚ÄĚ (I Corinthians 11:3-10).
From the above biblical quote, it is evident that Islam did not
invent the head cover. However, Islam did endorse it.
The Holy Quran urges the believing men and women to lower their gaze
and guard their modesty and then urges the believing women to extend
their head covers to cover the neck and the bosom: ‚ÄúSay to the believing
men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. And say
to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their
modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except
what ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over
their bosoms....‚ÄĚ (Holy Quran 24:30, 31).
The Holy Quran is quite clear that the veil is essential for modesty,
but the following verse explains further: ‚ÄúO Prophet, tell your wives
and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer
garments over their bodies (when outside) so that they should be
known and not molested‚ÄĚ (Holy Quran 33:59). This is the whole point,
modesty (when in public) is prescribed to protect women from molestation
or simply, modesty is protection.
Thus, the only purpose of the veil in Islam is protection. The
Islamic veil, unlike the veil of the Christian tradition, is not a sign
of man‚Äôs authority over woman nor is it a sign of woman‚Äôs subjection to
man. The Islamic philosophy is that prevention is better than cure or it
is better to be safe than sorry.
It is incredible to know nothing strikes fear in the hearts of
Western man like a piece of cloth on a woman‚Äôs head (especially if you
are a Muslim). In North America and Europe, a great part of this role
revolves around sex and the aura of sexuality.
Any relationship involving men and women has some kind of sexual
undertone. When a woman covers herself she is rejecting that role, she
is saying sex will have nothing to do with her public life.
A female doctor, writer, teacher or care-giver may be appreciated in
the work environment for her skill, but is still basically seen as ‚Äėjust
a woman‚Äô. But put her in Hijaab so that what makes her a woman cannot be
appraised and all of a sudden you are dealing with a person.
It is a radical idea not liked by many. Progressiveness for women is
unfortunately still defined by how much they are willing to reveal. The
more power women seem to gain, the more compelled they are to take off
their clothes. This paradox is at the root of the confusion faced by the Western women.
They are supposed to be strong, independent and assertive yet, at the
same time, they are made slaves to an ideal physical image which cannot
be achieved by the vast majority of women. This duality is a marketable
commodity. One has just to witness the pageantries of the Miss Universe
contest to see how women are being demeaned to mere chattels.
They shamefully parade like cows with broken hip bones on an auction
block, and all in the name of liberation! Unfortunately, we are fighting
an uphill battle to counter highly seductive rhetoric of specious
reasoning against Hijaab in the media today.
Muslims, on the other hand, are lax in their effort to counter these
propagandas with beautiful teachings of Islam. We need to progress from
such backward thinking of treating women as anything but a means to
titillate the baser instinct of men. Wearing Hijaab is a good start.
St. Anthony‚Äôs Church, Soysapura - built on Buddhists and Christians‚Äô
Feast of St. Anthony of Patna, following the Pentecost Sunday takes
pride of place in the Catholic calendar and plays a very important role
in moulding the lives of the Catholics. St. Anthony has a special place
among Catholics all over the world.
Born to an upper clan family in Lisbon in Portugal on August 15, 1195
he was named ‚ÄėFerdinand Bullion‚Äô and he chose to be a servant of the God
from his very young days and entered Franciscan Order and died young in
His service to God will be remembered for among the Catholics as St.
Anthony stood for the truth and bought the people the love of God.
Renowned as ‚ÄėSaint of the Poor‚Äô or ‚ÄėSaint of the finder of the lost‚Äô he
has left an indelible name not only among the Christian but also among
faithful belonging to diverse religion in his country and the beyond.
Soysapura housing complex, Moratuwa is considered to be one of the
pioneer housing schemes in the island.
The Catholics in the scheme had to go to the church of ‚ÄėQueen of
Angels‚Äô at Rawathawatta for their religious obligations.
As the number of Catholics increased the inhabitants of the Soysapura
housing complex had made pleas to the Parish Priest of the Rawathawatta
mission to provide them with a suitable place of worship.
Accordingly Rev. Fr. Edward Reval Pulle the then Parish Priest
decided to construct a small church dedicated to St. Anthony at the
housing complex premises. On March 12, 1994 Fr. Reval placed a statue in
a spacious place. Little did he think that this place would one day
become regular place of worship.
On 10th April 1994 Fr. Reval laid the foundation and converted the
surrounding area into a place of worship for the increasing crowd of
Fr. Sri Lal Fonseka and Fr. Ranjith Madurawala developed the church
with the help of the devotees and today one can see a very charming
church in the Soysapura Housing Scheme.
Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Marcus Fernando visited the church and
addressing the gathering said that he was privileged to open such a
charming church like this.
He declared open the church by blessing this church and thereafter
unveiling a plaque. Comparing with other churches the present
development of this church within a short period is not very
This is the result of a few people who have gathered and work
unitedly and hard in the improvement of this church.
They spend their valuable time to develop this place.
The effort taken by the present parish priest Rev. Fr. Tyronne Perera
to strengthen the unity of the church community is praiseworthy. Lot of
activities are implemented in order to strengthen their faith in god.
He has also decided to complete the final stage construction
activities of the church in Soysa flats. The ‚Äėmidnight service‚Äô held on
behalf of the feast of Pentecost as well as the ‚ÄėHealing Service‚Äô held
on every Friday has nourished the spiritual lift of parishioners.
The meaningful sermons given by Rev. Fr. Malaka has inspired so many
believers in conducting their lives.
The annual feast of this church which can be termed a symbol of unity
is celebrated with the patronage of the people of Soysapura and
The members of the church committee hopes to celebrate the annual
feast this year on a grand scale.