150 years old Mannar St Mary’s Church celebrate its Annual feast
When Fr Francis Xavier visited Ceylon from India, due to his strong faith in Jesus Christ and Mother Mary the Catholic of Mannar started building a small churches In Mannar,Thalai Mannar, Pesalai, Manthai and Madhu area.
The St Mary Church was first build by the European Fathers and faithful Tamil and Sinhalese Mudaliars. One of the burial stone reflect in the heart of the old St Mary Church revels that Rev Fr. A.l.S. GENEYS, OMI Mission of Oblate was buried in 18th September,1889 ( 124 years back). Also another burial stone relates that Mr.DON LAWRENCE MATHEW VARONEGOLE SINGO MODLIER was buried on the 27th of February, 1868 ( 144 years back ) Both burial stones are still in the demolished church area.
His lordship The Bishop of Mannar Rt .Rev. Dr.Rayapoo Joseph, The former Parish Priest Rev Fr. Jesurajaha, Rev Fr. Koduthore Thevarajah and the Parishioners decided to demolish the age old building and put up a new large church to accommodate the fast increasing devotees in Mannar Town. As in 1865 the history revels that there were only 42 Catholic families in the town, but in 2012 The Mannar parish has swollen to 2,200 families. The sudden increase came after 2008 when Vidathalthivu, Illupaikadavai, Murunkan area Tamil catholic displaced and started living in Mannar town.
Mannar had Two big churches namely St Sebastian Church ,which has been declared as Cathedral and the Initial old St Mary’s Church. Recently Mannar Catholic had celebrated the St Sebastian festoon 20th of January in a pious and peaceful manner after the major flood in the District. After that in February 2nd 2013 they are celebrating St Mary’s feast.
As usual nine days novena took place and on 1st of February the Holy Eucharistic procession took place in the debris cleared area of the old church ground. Mannar devoted catholic in abroad could help the New building committee by donating their Pennies & Dollars in constructing this new church.The New Church plan has been shown in the picture.The well wishers could address all their donation to the Parish Priest of St Mary’s Church Mannar t.P.no; 023-2222-142 through “ St.Mary’s Church Building Fund” The Commercial Bank, Mannar, Saving Account No; 815-400-1684 and also at the same heading to Hatton National Bank, Mannar .Saving Account No; 02-002-030-1336.
Every penny and dollar will be acknowledged by an authorized receipt. Please.
Your prayers and sharing your earnings will put the building in action and in 2014 we could have the Church feast inside the new church constructed by the by sons and daughters of the 600 martyrs who sacrificed their life for the sake of today children.
Mother Mary will flourish all her love towards the Srilankan Citizens and provide Peace and harmony Forever.