02/10/2022 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – February 2022 marks 100 years that the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel have been serving the Church in Sri Lanka. Three nuns arrived in Colombo on the island of Sri Lanka in February 1922. The community they fostered was small at first but soon cared for the schools, houses, and orphanages. Sister Fernandes expressed her glee and gratitude at the hallmark to Agenzia Fides.
“One hundred years ago the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka invited the Sisters of India asking them for a contribution in educational pastoral care, to educate and empower women. We are happy to have completed 100 years of service in Sri Lanka. We thank all the people, in particular, the bishops, priests, nuns, and laypeople who have helped and supported us in this great mission. We are proud to be able to render our service to thousands of people in Sri Lanka, especially young students, orphans, poor tea plantation workers, prisoners, and the elderly”
Agenzia Fides reports how over the decades, the sisters have opened homes and created work opportunities in educational facilities such as St. Mary’s College in Trincomalee, St. Cecilia’s College in Batticaloa, St. Anthony’s Vidyalaya in Dematagoda, Carmel Central College in Chilaw, All Saints College in Colombo, and other locations such as Jaffna. Currently, about 250 Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel work in 36 convents scattered across the territory of Sri Lanka, with adjoining educational facilities for girls, many well organized and appreciated.
A Catholic church in Sri Lanka was the target of a bombing in 2019 on Easter Sunday. Christians on the island face threats from groups affiliated with Islamic extremist organizations and are slow to receive justice. Yet, the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel are resilient and dutiful in continuing God’s work, and by His grace, will do so for a hundred more years.