Caritas Sri Lanka on Tuesday marked the beginning of its Golden Jubilee year of serving the people with a Thanksgiving Mass.
Msgr Emmanuel Fernando, auxiliary bishop of Colombo, during the homily, mentioned some of the salient moments in the history Caritas-Sedec, from its first steps to the help it provided to the victims of conflicts, natural disasters and poverty. All this was based on the “foremost virtue of love.”
Msgr Fernando upheld the Catholic Church’s contribution towards the poor, the discriminated and the marginalized. "Our faith in Jesus Christ," he said, "is what makes us different from the many international and local non-governmental organisations that have flooded the country and the world."
Fr Joe Fernando, a missionary motivated by a desire to put into practice the Church's social doctrine, founded Caritas-Sedec, the Catholic Church’s main charity in Sri Lanka, in 1968. He was conscious of the need to serve the poor and disadvantaged sectors of society.
Over the years, the Catholic charity extended its activities by setting up a centre for the National Commission for Justice, Peace and Human Development. Today there are 13 diocesan offices covering all of the country’s districts.
To mark the charity’s 50th anniversary, a website was created, linked to a Facebook page and a YouTube channel that will upload video-documentaries.
The charity’s new strategic plan for the 2018-2021 period was made public during the event. An official jubilee song was presented which is written and composed by Fr. Cecil Joy Perera in Sinhalese and translated into Tamil by Fr. Eugene Francis. (AsiaNews)