of the Sisters of the Holy Angels of Sri Lanka
Rt. Rev. Mgr. Joseph Van Reeth S.J. (Bishop of Galle)
The Rt. Rev. Mgr.
Joseph Van Reeth S.J. Bishop of Galle founded the Congregation
of the Sisters of the Holy Angels of Sri Lanka, in 1903. Rev.
Sister Mary Aloysius was the first member in the congregation.
It was a Diocesan Congregation and a purely indigenous
one. Until the decree
of erection was issued in January 1923, the Sisters were attached
to the Convent of the Sisters of Charity of Ghent. The Diocese being a predominantly Buddhist
one, the Bishop's intention was to reach out to these people
with the help of a Congregation of Sisters of the soil.
With this in mind, he established the 1st
House in Ganagama (Baddegama) in 1923 and two more rose up
in Elpitiya and Balangoda in 1925 and 1930 respectively.
In 1933 the 1st General Chapter was held
and Rev. Mother Mary Gertrude Perera was elected the 1st
Superior General. She,
faithfully following the vision of the Founder who had gone
to his eternal reward just mine months after putting the Congregation
on its feet, opened more Convents in the Diocese going even
to totally non-Christian areas like Tangalle.
Since 1948, the Congregation has
spread to the Diocese of Chilaw, Kandy, Colombo, Trincomalee
and Badulla. In the early sixties we were invited by Mgr.
James R. Knox to Melbourne, Australia, to open a Convent in
the Archdiocese and be in charge of a Hostel for working girls.
So in 1964 the 1st band of missionary Sisters
set out for Australia.
At present, this Congregation has
25 Houses including 2 homes for Elders at Balangoda and Nagoda,
Kalutara, and 1 house in Australia.
Now we count 136 Sisters in Perpetual Vows, 25 in Temporary
vows, 18 Novices and 10 Postulants. His Holiness Pope Paul VI raised the Congregation
to Pontifical status.