Rev. Fr. Wewage Vincent Dep completed 60 years as a priest in 2008. On June 30th 2008, the Presbyterium felicitated Fr. Dep at a colourful ceremony held at the Archbishop's house which was graced by many of his friends in the priesthood.
Born on May 1918, he was raised to the priesthood on the feast day of St. Joseph, March 19, 1948, by Cardinal Coorey along with Frs. Noel Cruz and Kingsley Dalpadado and celebrated his first mass at his home parish St. Anne's,Wattala.
His father W. Lambert Dep, a descendant of the Dep Wijewardene clan was from Kegalle. He was an old Joe who later served on the staff of St. Joseph's. In fact the Deps have been all Josephians as far back as 100 years ago according to their family records.
Fr. Dep was at St. Joseph's from 1923 to 1938 and shone as a Sgt Major in the Cadet Corps. He had a teaching stint at St. John's Dematagoda and was an assistant in the Civil Defence Commission during the war. In 1942 he was the Best Wrestler at national level and was well versed in the martial arts.
He served as an assistant priest at Burullapitiya, Dalugama, and at St. Pius X church in Florida and was also the Chaplain to the Sailors at Corpus Christi in Texas, USA. He went on to serve as parish priest at many churches including the Cathedral in Kotahena.
Recalling nostalgic memories Fr. Dep said that while at Pilapitiya he had an altar server who today is none other than the Archbishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis. While at Kelaniya he was friendly with the chief incumbent of the Kelaniya temple Rev. Buddharakkitha Thero to whom he had once jokingly said that he should have been the incumbent since Helena Wijewardene ( nee Dep Weerasinghe ) who was instrumental in renovating the Raja Maha Vihara was his grand aunt.
The Block Rosary campaign of the past is said to be Fr. Dep's brainchild. He was also Chaplain to the Armed Forces. He was the National Director, SEDEC and founder Janasaviya and SIDEP.
A friend of the poor and needy, Fr. Dep was very popular both among the rich and the marginalized.
He was the Executive Director, Rotary Boys Town, Irabadagama, home to over hundred destitute children.