St. Anthony’s Church, Kollupitiya celebrates:
The parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church, Kollupitiya, decided to
celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the church when the Chief Celebrant
Rev. Dr. Joseph Spiteri Apostolic Nuncio for Sri Lanka, promulgated the
Jubilee Year 2012-2013 from the declaration scroll presented to him on
the Feast Day of June 24, 2012. It is all the more significant that the
Jubilee Year coincided with the ‘Year of Faith’ declared by the church.
In the earlier days, the Catholics of Kollupitiya attended to their
religious obligations in a small chapel in an old tenement garden
bordering the railway line near the Kollupitiya Station. This building
had a large hall at the seaside end. It was used as a school on weekdays
and as a church on Sundays and days of obligation.
The parish of Kollupitiya was under the Mission of Slave Island. When
Rev. Fr. C. V. Croos was appointed Parish Priest of Slave Island church
in April 1932, he was keen on building a new church as the chapel, being
covered by a line of dilapidated boutiques was not conducive and the
population of Kollupitiya was growing. Hence a church in a new location
with a Mission House became a necessity.
At the request of Rev. Fr. C. V. Croos, Archbishop Marque, donated a
part of a property belonging to the Diocese. On October 15, 1934, the
foundation of the church of St. Anthony at Kollupitiya was laid by Very
Rev. Fr. Theobald De Silva and a portion of the nave was completed in
Due to the efforts of Rev. Fr. Croos, the generosity of the
Archbishop and the zeal of Catholics rich as well as poor, a new and
worthy place of religious worship was built and the new church of St.
Anthony at St. Anthony’s Mawatha, formerly Kollupitya Lane, was blessed
on Sunday, June 5, 1938 by Very Rev. Fr. J.M. Masson, Administrator of
the Diocese and the first feast was celebrated on June 19, 1938.
The parish of Kollupitiya was detached from the Slave Island Mission
in 1945 and Rev. Fr. C.V. Croos was appointed as the first Parish
Priest. The temporary Mission House was demolished and a spacious
bungalow was purchased and was occupied by the Parish Priest in May
1949. From then the Parish Priests who were appointed, gradually
developed the church and today it is a beautiful monument thanks to the
efforts of the parishioners of Kollupitiya and also the devotees of St.
Anthony. Rev. Fr. N. Manokumaran is the 16th Parish Priest. Under his
leadership, members of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Jubilee
Committee with the assistance of parishioners and donors carried out a
major refurbishment program and also construct a Jubilee Hall to
commemorate the Anniversary.
The festive High Mass will be held today at 8.00 a.m. and the Chief
Celebrant will be the Apostlic Nuncio for Sri Lanka Most Rev. Dr. Joseph
The Principal Celebrant will be received at 7.45 a.m. near the
The celebrations will terminate with a fellowship.