Pulpit swaps, shared retreats, joint action on social issues and regular meetings between clergy are just some of the ideas for local expressions of unity between Anglicans and Roman Catholics taking shape during an ecumenical summit in Canterbury and Rome. This afternoon, during a service in the monastery church of San Gregorio al Cielo, Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will commission 19 pairs of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops to implement local expressions of unity in their dioceses around the world.
Church of Divine Love-Divya Seva Asramaya is a Southern outpost of the Colombo Diocese of the Anglican Church in Sri Lanka. The mission is the outcome of the deep commitment and hard labour of two pioneering women, the late Constance Mendis Jayawardena and Beryl Weerasuriya who shared the love of Jesus Christ with the poverty stricken people of Urubokka. Today it is a vibrant and growing congregation.
A joint Anglican/ Roman Catholic Youth Conference took place recently at the Subodhi Retreat Centre in Piliyandala, just outside Colombo. The topic of the meeting was “so that they may be one” (Jn, 17:22).
This is the fruitful result of a dialogue between the two churches, was how Fr. Sam Ponniah, chaplain of the CCYM described the meeting, which brought together 45 youth from both the Sinhala and Tamil communities, representing the Catholic Youth Federation and the CCYM.
The personnel of the Diocese of Colombo participated in a first ever skills and motivation building programme on June 10th and 11th at the Aqual Pearl Lake Resort, Moratuwa.
The theme of the programme was “Abundant Life” and it was facilitated by Priyanka Mendis an accredited trainer who worked for many years as the Manager Training and Development at the Nations Trust Bank and helps out the Healing of Memories programme of the NCC/Diocese and Dr Nirmala M. Pieris who is serving as an international expert for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Bishop Dhilo in his Charge to the clergy at the Colombo Diocese’s Annual Clergy conference highlighted the importance of carrying out the Great Commission entrusted to us by Jesus - not to make mere churchy Christians, but Disciples of all men and women.