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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2738

New St. Anthony’s Church in Kachchativu

Colombo, 23 December, (Asiantribune.com):

Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne will vest the newly constructed St. Anthony’s Church on the Kachchativue island in the general public today (23) at a ceremony graced by Northern Province, governor Reginald Cooray and a large number of distinguished guests.

Earlier the consecration of a new church on Katchatheevu islet has been postponed by Jaffna Catholic diocese after the demise of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on the 5th night.

The church built by the Diocese of Jaffna at a cost of nearly Rs.15 million is expected to house thousands of devotees from India and Sri Lanka who visit the island once a year for the annual feast of St. Anthony, whom the fisher folk believe to be a “guardian of the sea”.

An issue over the participation of people from Tamil Nadu at the consecration ceremony was finally decided that 100 people from Tamil Nadu would be attending the consecration ceremony on 23rd December.

Kachchativu is a small island of 1.15 sq. km 10 km away from Delft Island with no human habitation. However, the fishing community has used it over the years to rest and mend their fishing gear.

Accordingly, the small St. Anthony’s Church in Kachchativu had become their place of worship during such visits. The annual Kachchativu feast held in March is attended by a large number of Indian as well as Sri Lankan devotees.

On completion of last year’s feast, Feb. 21, the Vicar General of the Jaffna Diocese and Bishop of the same Diocese His Lordship Rev. Dr Justin Gnanapragasam indicated the need for constructing a new Church on Kachchativu Island prior to the annul feast of 2017. Responding positively to the request of

Rev. Bishop, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne instruct his officers and men to undertake the construction of the new Church immediately. Accordingly, the construction work on St. Anthony’s Church commenced under the supervision of Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Piyal de Silva.

The foundation stone laying ceremony of the Church was held on 09th May 2016 under the auspices of Jaffna Vicar General Rev. Father Joseph Das Jebaratnam.

- Asian Tribune -

New St. Anthony’s Church in Kachchativu
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