Tuesday, February 4, 2014

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

This evening, we, the Philosophate Family together with all of you, my dear friends, have honoured, Our Blessed and Our Heavenly Mother, who received the Word of God in her heart and in her body giving Life to the world. The tradition of the Catholic Church always acknowledges and honours the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer because, she also became our beloved mother. That is the very reason Blessed Pope John Paul II called her “the Eucharistic Woman” and the priest par excellence of the new covenant.

His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Winston Fernando knows very well how Marian Spirituality moulded his religious, priestly and Episcopal life. Just like St. Peter Julian Eymard, founder of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation, His Lordship also gives a very special place to the Holy Eucharist in his life and possesses a special devotion towards the Blessed Virgin Mary.

His Lordship my dear friends, is not a guest to the National Seminary, particularly to the Philosophate because His Lordship was very much involved with the planning and the construction of this hallowed institution. I have been trying on numerous occasions to get His Lordship for a special function (to be more precise) for the last nine years. Anyhow, this particular year I succeeded. If I am correct, I think that this is the first occasion that His Lordship has officiated an official function in the Philosophate since its inception.

Ampitiya is not an alien place for your Lordship, because you have been a professor and you are still actively involved in the Ministry of teaching. We, the staff, students and all the invitees are pleased to have your Lordship in our midst this evening in spite of the manifold responsibilities you hold in your Diocese.  

My Lord, thank you very much for accepting our invitation to grace this occasion. Your presence indeed, makes this occasion a joyous celebration and an ardent expression of your interest in the formation of future priests. Please be assured of our prayers and May the good Lord and Our Blessed Mother protect and guide you and grant you spiritual fervor to dedicate your life more and more to the vineyard of our Lord Jesus.

Among the millions of devotees all over the world, the Oblate of Mary Immaculate Congregation has also got a unique devotion to our mother. There is no doubt that the Provincial Superior of the OMI, Very Rev. Fr. Rohan Silva has added colour to our evening liturgy. Dear Fr. Rohan, we extend our humble thanks to you for accepting our invitation and for your very presence here with us in spite of your tight schedule. Very often the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka has to turn towards the Religious Congregations because they too have been enhancing the department of Philosophy with efficient teachers.

I must mention here that the former Provincial Rev. Fr. Clement Waidiyasekara found donors to build the Philosophate Library project and with the supportive hand of the present Provincial, we managed to set up the well equipped 3rd Year Philosophy classroom. Thank you very much, Fr. Rohan for your love, concern and interest in the National Seminary and the future Church in Sri Lanka.

I also take this opportunity to thank all the Religious Superiors, Fathers, Parish Priests, Brothers, Sisters, teachers and invitees for being with us. There is no doubt that your presence too is really a source of strength and encouragement to us.


At last but not the least, we cannot forget Our Beloved Shepherd of the Community, Very Rev. Fr. Elmo Dias, the Fr. Rector of the National Seminary. Dear Father, thank you very much for your fatherly guidance and sharp in puts to take us together to build future local Church in Sri Lanka. My dear Brother Priests on the staff of the Theologate, all the Members of the Staff, our Liturgists, students and the supportive staff, as the Director of the Philosophate, I appreciate your love and support extended to us at all times and say, a “Big Thank You” for everything that you do.

Rev. Fr. Raveen Perera
Director