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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2787

21st Annual Rally of Sri Lankans At International Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua

By Riccardo Nelumdeniya
Rome, 08 May, (

On 1st May 2018 the Annual rally of Sri Lankans in Italy was held for the 21st consecutive year at the International Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua.

Chief celebrant was His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony Perera, Chairman of the committee for Migrants of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and Bishop of Kurunegala.

Principal co-celebrants were Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe Perera, National Coordinator and Rev. Fr. Claude Wanasinghe, chaplain for Metropolitan city of Milan.

In his homily the Bishop invited the faithful to live like St. Joseph the worker; who was celebrated on 1st May.

“Both St. Joseph and St. Anthony lived according to the teaching of our Lord Jesus, that is why they could reach the Sanctity,” His Lordship said.

“You can start the journey to the Sanctity by sharing the love of Jesus Christ in your own family or in your community, we need Saints!”.

The Bishop of Kurunegala also underlined few important lines of the recently published Apostolic Exhortation “ Gaudete et exsultate” - “Rejoice and Be Glad” of His Holiness Pope Francis, in particular the importance of live every day with the true Joy which is given to people only by Jesus our Lord.

His Lordship conveyed greetings from His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Colombo.

Even this year, more than 15,000 Sri Lankan faithful’s from every place of Italy participated at the Thanksgiving Holy Mass in honor of St. Anthony of Padua, and it is important to note that also Buddhist people devoted to the Saint of Padua participated.

This year celebration was organized by the Sr Lankan Catholic communities of Milan, Saronno and Monza under the guidance of Rev. Fr Claude Wanasinghe and Rev. Fr Sanjeewa Perera.

Concluding the Feast with vote of thank speech was Very Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe who thanked everyone who worked hard for the organization of this beautiful ceremony.

Rev. Msgr. Neville also stated that the request he conveyed last year regarding the huge money waste on offertory flowers was 100% received by people who reduced flowers at offertory preferring cash donations to poor.

Very Reverend Monsignore finally invited the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Italy Mr Daya Pelpola and the Sri Lankan Consul General of Milan Ms. Pradeepa Sarem to take strong action regarding the injustice faced by Sri Lankans who ask for Visa service or documents attestation at the Embassy of Italy in Colombo.

“I saw with my eyes the injustice faced by Srilankans at the Italian Embassy in Colombo; people requesting for a tourist visa have to request at least three months earlier, then family members who applied for “Familiare” visa have to be in the waiting list for about one year!” Rev. Msgr. Neville said.

Further Msgr. Neville stated: “An attestation of a police clearance report by the Italian embassy takes several months; Mr Ambassador take action to safeguard our citizens!”

Next year celebrations will be organized by the Catholic communities of Modena and Bologna, cities of the North-Eastern province of Italy.

- Asian Tribune -

21st Annual Rally of Sri Lankans At International Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua
21st Annual Rally of Sri Lankans At International Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua
21st Annual Rally of Sri Lankans At International Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua
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