150TH JUBILEE OF ST. MARY'S CHURCH, NAYAKAKANDA
[ Fr. Sunil De Silva - 05.02.2012 ]
St. Mary's Church, Nayakakanda ( Wattala ), celebrated 150th Jubilee of the Church on 04th and 05th February 2012. While His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith presided at the Solemn Jubilee Eucharistic celebration on Sunday the 05th February 2012, His Lordship Bishop Maxwell Silva presided at the Solemn Jubilee Vespers on Saturday the 04th Feb. 2012.
The permanent structure for the first Church of St. Mary’s Nayakakanda, Hendala commenced in 1862 on property donated by a group of devoot Catholics of the area, and was completed by the pioneering efforts of Rev. Frs. Dominic Pulikani & carlo Mario Cardano. This Church, while serving the Nayakakanda community for over 100 years, also served the needs of the faithful of Wattala and its’ surroundings especially during the feast of the Presentation of Our Lady.
In 1934 Nayakakanda was declared a Parish. The continuous increase of parishioners over the preceding years and the progressive deterioration of the building prompted Rev. Fr. Joseph Aloysius OMI to take measures to commence reconstruction to the existing structure in 1952, which was subsequently completed in 1962 by Rev. Fr. J.L. Mique OMI
Today over 4827 families comprised of various ethnic groups are served by St. Mary’s. The Church is also coordinating centre for over 32 societies which serve the spiritual and temporal needs of the Faithful. Nayakakanda is today the largest Parish in the Diocese of Colombo, which includes two sub parishes, Kerawalapitiya and Balagala, serving 750 and 1400 families respectively.
His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and the Prime Minister and other guests were welcomed by Rev. Fr. Mahndra Gunatillake, Parish Priest, and the Assistant Priests and the Members of the Parish Pastoral Council. His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm presided at the Jubilee Mass together with the other priests present