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Centenary celebrations of the Marist Brothers’ Presence in Sri Lanka

06/01/2012: Sri Lanka - Photo gallery

The Marist Brothers, their lay partners, teachers, students, old boys, parents and well wishers were present in large numbers for the Thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration held on Saturday the 10th of December 2011, in the Auditorium of Maris Stella College, Negombo, Sri Lanka.

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, was the main celebrant, and Very.Rev Father Maxwel Silva, the bishop elect, and the Episcopal Vicar, Very Rev.Fr. Patrick Perera, along with two old boy priests of Maris Stella College concelebrated.

There was a large number of clergy, Religious Sisters and Brothers along with the lay faithful.

Very Rev. Brother Emili Turu, Superior General, Brother Michael De Waas , General Councillor for Asia and Oceania, and Rev. Brother Shanti Liyanage,  Provincial Superior of the South Asia, were also present on this occasion.

All the guests were welcomed by Rev. Brother Shanthi, and were accompanied to the auditorium in a colorful procession led by the Maris Stella College Western Band.

The altar and surroundings was very attractively decorated, with a large size painting of our Founder hanging in the background along with the logo of the centenary year.

During the homily, the Cardinal expressed appreciation for the apostolate carried out by the Marist Brothers in Sri Lanka. He emphasized the fact that the pioneer Marists sacrificed their lives and were buried in the mission land in order to give life to the present generation of Marist Brothers. He further mentioned that moral values are being eroded specially among the youth today. After the 30 year conflict in Sri Lanka, the number of youth affected and led astray is a large one. He reminded the gathering of how Marcellin, the founder of the Marists, responded to the challenges of the French Revolution and engaged in  an uphill task to educate the youth of his time. The Cardinal invited the brothers to play a major role in educating the youth, especially the underprivileged.

During the Holy Mass all the Brothers renewed their vows in the presence of Brother Emili.

After the Mass, there was a general assembly where Rev. Bro. Emili addressed the gathering. After his speech, he missioned the pioneer brothers (Nicholas, Francis, Lazar and Riyas ) to the war affected areas in the North of Sri Lanka. When our first pioneers arrived in Sri Lanka in 1911, the then Brother Superior General, Very Rev. Brother Stratonique, had given them a picture of Our Lady Queen of Angels. A replica of this picture was given to the pioneers to the North by Brother Emili, assuring them of his prayers.

Then Brother Joseph Peiris was missioned to take charge of the Lay Marists of Sri Lanka.

There was also a very attractive power point presentation by Brother Chamara highlighting the major events that had taken place during the past 100 years in Sri Lanka.

This joyful ceremony ended with the lunch of fellowship and all dispersed happily.

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Brother Joseph Peiris fms

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