I'm from Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is an island in South Asia. Sri Lanka is
a multi-religious country: 70% are Buddhists.
Hinduism is the second most prevalent religion at
12%, Islam is the 3rd most dominant religion in the
country at 9%, with Christianity at 7%.
Christianity was brought into the country by the
Portuguese. Most of the Christians live in the
western coast of the island. My hometown is 100%
Catholic. Even today it
remains 100% Catholic and
every day the church bell rings for Angelus at 5:30
am and 6:30 pm.
I started serving Mass immediately following my
First Holy Communion. Before I went to school I
almost daily attended Mass and served daily Mass. I
remember the priests visiting our Parish and when
they asked me about my future career, I always told
them I wanted to become a Priest.
I think my mom must have put this idea into my
mind. She had a special devotion to our Blessed
Mother and her favorite Marian prayer was the Memorare. She gave her first child the name
Lourdes. The second child was myself and has given
me the middle name Pathimadasa ( in Sinhala which
is my Mother Tongue, meaning The Servant of Our
Lady of Fatima) We had a family Rosary every day
before dinner. She was very protective of me. She
never allowed me to go swimming in the sea with the
other boys even though the sea was only two miles
from my home. As a young boy I used to say Mass at
home with my 2 sisters & cousins and my younger
brother was the altar boy. I had a kind of a
chasuble made by mom. I used bread (roti) & tea for
my mass. All the girls came wearing sari like
mothers & boys dressed like . I joined the minor
seminary at the age of 17 and attended college and
completed my higher education at the Seminary.
After completing the minor seminary program, I was
sent to India with three other companions to do my
philosophy. I completed my theology at the National
Seminary in Sri Lanka. I was ordained a priest with
five companions from the same diocese on July 12,
1980. That year 31 were ordained from different
diocese and religious orders.
My first assignment was associate pastor to the
second largest National Shrine in Sri Lanka. After
a year I was promoted to be a pastor of a parish.
Thereafter, I served in five parishes. After being
a priest I was sent to India again to follow a
Catechetical diploma course. later I was appointed
as the diocesan and director of Catechetics. After
completing my five-year term I was sent to the
Philippines to do Liturgy. Then I was appointed as
the Director of Liturgy of the Diocese. At that
time there was an understanding in my diocese after
serving 15 years we were allowed to go out of the
country and work in parishes for 2 or 3 years.
After working in the diocese for 22 years I asked
my Bishop permission to come to the United States.
He gladly approved my request. While I was looking
for a parish I contacted Father Peter Fernando who
was the pastor in Enterprise. He made arrangements
to have an interview over the phone with Bishop
Vasa. He welcomed me to the Diocese of Baker. I'm
grateful to Bishop Vasa for accepting me to this
My first assignment was as Associate Pastor at the
Cathedral in Baker City in 2004. After serving
there I was assigned by Bishop Vasa as the Pastor
in Vale in 2007, taking care also of the mission
church in Unity.
A Prayer for
Lord Jesus, you have chosen your priests
from among us and sent them out to proclaim your word and
to act in your name. For so great a gift to your Church, we
give you praise and thanksgiving. We ask you to fill them
with the fire of your love, that their ministry may reveal
your presence in the church. Since they are earthen
vessels, we pray that your power shines out through their
weakness. In their afflictions let them never be crushed;
in their doubts never despair; in temptation never be
destroyed; in persecution never abandoned. Inspire them
through prayer to live each day the mystery of your dying
and rising. In times of weakness send them Your Holy
Spirit, and help them to praise Your Heavenly Father and
pray for poor sinners. By the same Holy Spirit put your
word on their lips and your love in their hearts, to bring
good news to the poor and healing to the broken hearted.
And may the gift of Mary, your Mother, to the disciple whom
you loved, be your gift to every priest. Grant that she who
formed you in her human image, may form them in your divine
image, by the power of your spirit, to the glory of God the