The feast of Saint of the Roses | Daily News


The feast of Saint of the Roses

The feast of the Saint the Roses – St Therese of the little flower was celebrated at the “Raththu Palliya”, Kelaniya on the October 7. Commencing with the hoisting of the flag on September 27, it was to be a yet another prayerful and happy 11 days of meticulous planning by our very dynamic shepherd of the Parish Rev. Fr. Anton Premalal ably assisted by Rev. Fr. Vikum Anthony to make the 87th anniversary of the Church, memorable as always.

Also with them were Rev. Sisters, members of the parish council, yes, altar servers choristers, members of the many associations attached in the golden path of looking after the spiritual and materialistic needs of the congregation, youth of the “Dharmadutha” society and our energetic sancristian. They were surrounded by a happy family of parishioners. The unstinted support afforded by the police and the Local Authorities cannot be measured.

The silent multitude of the devout Buddhist and Muslim friends was always at hand in cleaning the route of the procession, decorating and illuminating it. It was to be another week of harmony, tolerance love and togetherness.

A group of forcing tourists who had witnessed the procession had sighed and marveled in seeing the beautiful amity shown by the believers of all faiths in our sweet little Isle.

The unpredictable weather was no hindrance to our devout parishioners of St. Theresa Church. Rev. Fr. Nilushan Fernando O M I Director of the ‘Nazareth’ Preaching Community from Wennappuwa made the days of the Novina, literally a ‘retreat’ with his inspiring sermons on the teachings of our saviour and the role we had to play in making them to be with us. Rev. Fr Emard, Diocesan Chancellor attached to Kurunegala inspired the congregation with a thought provoking sermon on the day set apart for the ‘Family’ -'the family that prays together stays together. Unforgettable words of inspiration by both Rev. Fathers – Nilushan and Emard.

Vespers was celebrated by Rev. Fr Indika Joseph, Arch Diocese Director liturgy.

He was no stronger to the church fraternity. He was once the Parish Priest of the Kelaniya Mission, and was much respected and loved by the parishioners of all four churches. His gentle smile and humility brought memories to the congregation when he stepped on to the altar, with our dear Rev. Fathers Premalal and Vikum by his side. The festive procession was postponed. It was a very wet day, and God in great mercy indicated to us through our Parish Priest and many in the congregation, that it would be adviceable to shift the customary festive procession for the following day morning, after the Festive High Mass.

Many of the parishioners felt that our heavenly father and St. Therese did foresee this happening and the many tribulations that the faithful would have had to face during the procession.

The festive high mass was said by Rev. Fr. Jayashantha Soris Director of St Peters College Udugampola.

The chariot with a smiling St. Therese, surrounded by a cauldron of natures wonder flowers was amidst an artistically designed church compound, with a beautiful array of flowering plants.

The parishioners were at the church in the evening to say ‘Thank you’ to our heavenly father for His favours bequeathed to the clergy and the parishioners in making this, the 87th anniversary of the church, memorable.

We beseech him to bless our historic Kelaniya ‘Gramaya’ with her people belonging to all faiths.

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