Celebrating 150 years, in Sri Lanka

Celebrating with grateful hearts

In 1867 Bishop Hillarian Sillani OSB, Vicariate of Colombo, Sri Lanka received a letter from Foundress Mother Mary Euphrasia Pelletier promising to send Good Shepherd Sisters to Sri Lanka as Missionaries.  This was in reply to a request the Bishop had made. Sadly, Mother Mary Euphrasia died before the Sisters were sent to Sri Lanka. 

In 1869, Mother Mary of St. Peter de Coudenhove, the then Superior General, arranged for the Sisters to go to Sri Lanka. Four pioneer sisters: Sister Marie of St. Euphrasia Gough, Sister Mary Annunciata Morandi, Sister Mary Divine Heart Masi and Sister Mary Suzanne Cardiff arrived on 15th April 1869 to a house prepared for them at Kotahena, Colombo city. They had travelled directly from the Mother House in Angers, France. The Superior, Mother Mary of the Seven Dolours Joly arrived a few months later. 

Kotahena was then a slum area in the City, and very unhealthy. Soon the Sisters began to fall ill. Within a few years, two Sisters had died, and Sr. Seven Dolours and Sr. Annunciation had returned to Angers. Another group of sisters arrived, and within a decade the sisters' health had improved and the house flourished. 

In 2019 Sisters, Mission Partners, colleagues and supporters gathered in local communities to celebrate the rich history of 150 years.... 

 

Congratulations from Good Shepherd Asia Pacific!

 

Photos of celebrations

Click here - Sesquicentenary Celebrations in Sri Lanka 2019

 

Letter of Sr Ellen Kelly, Congregational Leader

Click here - http://www.gssslpk.lk/images/letters/Message-Ellen.pdf

 

Prayer Service

Click here - http://www.gssslpk.lk/images/letters/Jubilee_Prayer_service.pdf

 

Letter of Sr Francine Muthugala, Province Leader 

'We are standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before us, They are saints and they are humans, they are angels, they are friends, We can see beyond the struggles and the troubles and the challenge, When we know that by our efforts things will be better in the end.'    Joyce Rouse

 

Sesquicentennial Celebration is an excellent time for our Good Shepherd Province in Sri-Lanka and Pakistan to reflect on the past and to honour our Foundress and the Pioneers on whose shoulder we now stand. We celebrate 150 years journeying together in shepherding the people of God. It has been an extraordinary journey for us.

As we were preparing for the Jubilee, we had the opportunity to reminisce all these dear ones who have given us this great legacy. This is indeed a historic moment. I feel a sense of awe and gratitude to St. Mary Euphrasia, our Foundress who responded to the invitation of Bishop Hilarian Silani OSB and gave her consent generously to send the first four sisters to us and for the Irish sisters whose dedication, hope and struggles created this Congregation of Good Shepherd in Sri-Lanka and Pakistan.

Over the years we have grown into a fully established Sri-Lanka/Pakistan Province and now we are proud to say that we have stretched our branches to eleven Dioceses of Sri-Lanka and four Dioceses of Pakistan. 

We have spent many moments of shared Sacredness. We have felt the God of Mercy impelling us through the years to respond with even greater urgency to the cry of our wounded world.

We have been trying to deepen our Spirituality at all levels of Formation – Vocation Mission Promotion, Initial and Continuing Formation, Partnership and to strengthen the life of Good Shepherd Communities through personal and communal development and transformation for effective Mission.

We have been evolving in our ministries during the past 150 years while being faithful to the Spirit of the Charism passed on to us by our Founderess St. Mary Euphrasia. As we live and share the Merciful Love of Jesus the Good Shepherd through our life witness and getting involved in various ministries, we have a special concern towards vulnerable girls, women and children in our society. We have tried to increase the impact of Good Shepherd ministries through needs-based planning, best practice based on today, effective project management, monitoring and evaluation, while ensuring equality, effective management and mission sustainability. 

Congratulations dear Sisters and Mission Partners! I give praise to our Shepherd God who has used each one of us as His tool to continue His message of Compassion in whatever mission we are involved in. Let our hearts sing with joy today, if we have been faithful to God’s call.

Yes, we have a great future ahead, filled with promises from above. Can we recognize our God with greater zeal, who is alive, among the many who are lost, lonely, ill, neglected, forgotten, abandoned and vulnerable?

Do we have the courage to be Shepherdesses of the future to risk all, for the mission of Love and Reconciliation as we celebrate the 150th year of our Good Shepherd presence in Sri-Lanka?

The time is now! The place is here! We are the people! What we do today will be the footprints of the future.

Sr. Francine Muthugala

 

“Celebrate! You have a heart created to love and be grateful!”

St. M. Euphrasia Pelletier