Extension and Renovation of a Village Chapel in Sri Lanka
The Parish of Padiatte in Sri Lanka is growing. Lying in the central highlands, it includes the outstation of Saint Anthony, about 21 miles from the center of the parish. There is a small chapel here, originally built in 1948 when there were just 43 Catholic families here. Now their numbers have more than doubled, growing to 95 families. As a result, in addition to suffering the ravages of time that left it urgently in need of renovation, the chapel also became far too small for the local Catholic faithful who gather here for Holy Mass, for prayer and for religious instruction. And the need was all the greater because the chapel is also used as a preschool.
Currently there are six catechists ministering to the Catholic faithful here, and almost 80 children attend the regular catechism sessions for children. The priest comes every other week to celebrate Holy Mass – and, given the poor state of the roads, it takes him over an hour to cover the 20-plus mile journey.
Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to make a contribution of $9,900 so that they could enlarge and renovate the existing chapel. The ordinary Catholic faithful, who are for the most part extremely poor, likewise made many sacrifices and offered their labor freely – with the result that the chapel is now both bigger and more beautiful.
The parish priest, Father Alvin Peter Fernando has written to ACN. "On October 4, after the renovation and extension work was completed, the chapel was formally consecrated by our bishop. It now rises up majestically, standing tall and offering more space, more light. It will undoubtedly bring a deep sense of renewal to all the people.”
“I want to thank you for your
contribution and to assure you that we will always pray for you and all your
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