Our Activities
 

[Intervention for the celebrations of Church Feasts]
[Provide financial assistances to Renovate Churches & religious buildings]
[Parliamentary Bills & Acts]
[Promotion of Christian Literature, Art & Culture]
[Promotion of Religious Education]
[Safeguard the rights & privileges of the Christians]
[Celebration of Christian Festivals]

Intervention for the celebrations of Church Feasts

(a) National (gazetted) Festivals.

(b) Other Major Shrines.

(a) National (gazetted) Festivals.
Annual festivals of several important shrines, where a large concourse of pilgrims gather, are declared as National festivals by the government of Sri Lanka under the Pilgrims Ordinance.

In liaison with the church administration, the respective Government –Agent / Divisional secretary of area is responsible for co-ordination and making arrangements, for the smooth functioning of the festival. By monitoring the progress, The Ministry of Christian affairs will monitor the arrangements and intervene where support is required. The following church festivals are listed as National Festivals.

Name of the Church Location
Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu Madhu
Mannar Diocese
St. Anne's Shrine Talawila
Chilaw Diocese
Shrine of Our Lady of Matara Matara
Galle Diocese
St. Anthony's Church Wahakotte
Kandy Diocese
St. Anne's Church Kattimahana
Kurunegala Diocese
St.Marys' Church (Mawathagama Calvary) Mawathagama
Kurunegala Diocese


St. Annes Shrine – Talawila

Two main festivals are scheduled to be celebrated annually in this Shrine with the participation of over 150,000 devotees.

Easter Festival - Holy week
Main Festival - First Sunday in August.

The Annual Feast of St. Anne's Thalawila, was held on 03rd August 2003 with the participation of large crowds from various parts of the country. Bishop of Chilaw Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Marcus Fernando officiated at the High Mass, which was followed by a procession carrying the statue of St. Anne.

Christian Affairs Ministry assisted in co-ordinating the work of several government and non-governmental agencies in improving facilities for pilgrims and infrastructure development at several meetings held before the festival.

 

Shrine of Our Lady of Matara - Matara

Shrine of Our Lady of Matara is a Church situated in the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka. The feast of Our Lady of Matara is celebrated in September and a large concourse of pilgrims converges in Matara from every part of the island to pray and receive the blessings of Our Lady of Matara.

In the year 1992 the festival of Our Lady of Matara was declared and gazetted as a National festival. Since then the feast is being celebrated in every year as state sponsored national festival.This year the feast scheduled to be held on 13th and 14th of September.

The first meeting for the arrangements for the festival of Our Lady of Matara Shrine was held at St. Mary’s Convent Matara on 03-07-2003. Hon. John A.E. Amarathunaga, Minister of Christian Affairs chaired the meeting and Most Rev. Dr. Elmo Perera, Bishop of Galle, Government Agent – Matara, Divisional Secretary Matara Rev. Fr. Administrator and representatives of all other parties concerned were participated.

 

Shrine of our Lady of Madhu

An estimated crowd of over 300,000 devotees from all over the Island participated at the Annual Feast of the Church of Our Lady of Madhu held on 15th August 2003. Minister of Interior and Christian Affairs Hon. John Amaratunga was present along with several of Ministers representing the Government on this occasion.

Christian Affairs Ministry co-ordinate activities with several government and non-governmental agencies to improve the services to pilgrims.

More details www.mannardiocese.org/madhushrine/


(b) Other Major Shrines (Festivals)

The celebrations of feasts of major shrines often need state intervention or collaboration. Hence the electricity, water supply, maintenance of sanitary facilities has been undertaken by the state on partial basis as and when needed for the occasion.

 

Provide financial assistance to renovate churches and religious buildings.

Most Churches, religious buildings having been built early in the century need repairs both structural and superficial for maintenance purpose. The Ministry, at the request and the recommendations of the Catholic Bishops' Conferences and National Christian Council provide financial assistances to renovate Churches & religious buildings of historical & archaeological significances as well as to churches in impoverished areas.

Procedure
The local head of the religious organization should when such need arises make a request to this Ministry through the Catholic Bishop's Conference or National Christian Council as the case may be. The application should state the purpose, the benefit, with an estimate of the project.On being satisfied with its bona fides if such a request is approved the cheque in favor of the applicant is sent to the Catholic Bishop's Conference or National Christian Council.The latter should notify Ministry on completion of the work in the case of building repairs and submit the receipts and other connected document. The Ministry officials will visit the site when necessary.

 

Parliamentary Bills and Acts

As and when the Parliament refers the matters related to Christian Religion, action will be taken by the Ministry with the relevant legal authorities, such as Legal Draughtsman, Attorney General, and coordinate with the Church for necessary action.

 

Promotion of Christian Literature, Art and Culture

In consultation with the Catholic Bishops' Council and the National Christian Council, The Ministry may provide assistance for holding seminars, exhibitions, staging Passion plays, Nativity plays and provide assistance for publications on religious themes.

 

Promotion of Religious Education

Ministry of Christian Affairs support for the promotion of religious education by providing financial assistance for the uplifment of Christian Daham Pasal (Sunday Schools) and for short term training of Sunday school teachers.

 

Safeguard the rights & privileges of the Christians

Our main objective is to safeguard the rights and privileges of the Christian Community, as guaranteed in the constitution of the Democratic, Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

In Liaison with the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL), National Christian Council Churches (NCC) and the government in all matters that pertain to the rights of the Christian community with regard to worship, practice of the faith and its promotion, as guaranteed by the constitution.

 

Celebration of Christian Festivals

1. Christmas Celebrations.
2. Easter Celebrations.


   
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