for the celebrations of Church Feasts]
[Provide financial assistances
to Renovate Churches & religious buildings]
[Parliamentary Bills &
[Promotion of Christian Literature,
Art & Culture]
[Promotion of Religious Education]
[Safeguard the rights &
privileges of the Christians]
[Celebration of Christian Festivals]
for the celebrations of Church Feasts
(a) National (gazetted) Festivals.
(b) Other Major Shrines.
(a) National (gazetted)
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
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
|Name of the
|Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu
| St. Anne's Shrine
|Shrine of Our Lady of Matara
|St. Anthony's Church
|St. Anne's Church
| St.Marys' Church (Mawathagama
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
of Christian Festivals
1. Christmas Celebrations.
2. Easter Celebrations.