A Special Memorial Mass was conducted at the St Mary’s Cathedral on 26th April 2019 in Sydney by Sydney Archdiocese in collaboration with Sri Lanka NSW Catholic Association presided by Most rev Dr Anthony Fisher Archbishop of Sydney, in memory of the deceased and to bless the injured in the wake of Easter Sunday explosions in Sri Lanka. Bishops from several denominations together with Rev Father Chaminda Wanigasena , Chaplain of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church assisted. Blessings were made and Hymns were sung in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon Marise Payne, Immigration Minister Hon David Coleman, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Labour Party Ms Tanya Plibersek, State Minister for Finance and Small Business Hon Damien Tudehope, NSW Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans Hon John Sidoti and Members of Parliament joined the gathering with Government officials, Consular Corps, Sri Lankan community, Australians and other nationals, packing the enormous Cathedral.
The large crowd gathered in the Forecourt of the Cathedral after Mass at the invitation of the Consulate General. They held lighted candles in hand making silent prayers. Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev Dr Anthony Fisher addressing the gathering stated that “Violence through suicide bombing does not make a martyr.” His Eminence extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and wished Sri Lanka would heal wounds quickly. His Eminence further requested to convey the blessings of all who prayed at the Cathedral to the people of Sri Lanka, standing in solidarity with Sri Lanka.
Consul General Lal Wickrematunge in his remarks stated that Sri Lanka would not bow down to terror and would build up a Sri Lankan identity binding the different ethnic communities and those of diverse religious beliefs together. Sri Lanka has been through many a hurdle and will overcome this too with love and compassion
Underlying theme of this silent vigil was solidarity and unity in the face of adversity.
Consulate General of Sri Lanka
Sydney – Australia
26 April 2019
Photo credits Mr Roy Gunaratne