Congregations in Sri Lanka
 

Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Angels of Sri Lanka

Founder:  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.

 


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