(Colombo, Sri Lanka) The Region of Colombo gathered for its Regional Assembly from December 13-16, 2022. Seventeen confreres, led by the Regional Superior, Fr. Shiran Fonseka, met at ‘Sancta Maria’, in Kandy.

Fr. John Hodgson, the Provincial Superior of the Province of Oceania, with whom the Region is affiliated, was present; as was Fr. Ben Ma, the Coordinator of the Conference of Asia-Oceania. Fr. Ino Cueto from the Vice Province of Manila was the Assembly facilitator.

The Assembly discussed reports from the Regional Council, the Regional Bursar, the four communities, the formators, the vocation coordinator and the mission coordinator. Each community also presented their responses to reflection questions, focusing on the Region’s mission in the next eight to ten years. A small number of proposed updates to the Regional Statutes were voted on; as well as the adoption of a Regional Social Media Policy. The Assembly also reflected on the qualities of leadership that the Region needs for the new quadrennium.

During the Assembly, the Region celebrated three significant events. First, a mass of thanksgiving and a BBQ dinner were celebrated in honour of Br. Patrick Perera who celebrated 65 years of profession on August 2, 2022.

Second, a newly erected statue of St. Alphonsus at ‘Sancta Maria’ was unveiled and officially blessed. In recognition of his 65 years, most of which have been served at Sancta Maria, Br. Patrick had the honour of unveiling the statue, with Fr. John (Provincial), the blessing. The statue was the initiative of ‘Sancta Maria’ superior, Fr. Sanath Fernando.

Third, the end of the current quadrennium brings with it the end of Fr. Shiran’s 12 years (3 consecutive terms) as Regional Superior, which began on February 2, 2011. Fr. Shiran’s leadership, care for the confreres and love for the Region, were acknowledged and praised by participants at various times throughout the Assembly. Led by Frs. Ben (Coordinator) and John (Provincial), a special prayer of blessing was prayed over Fr. Shiran at the Assembly’s closing Eucharist; thanking God for his dedicated service to the Region and the Congregation, and entrusting his future missionary endeavours to the Holy Redeemer and to Mary, our Mother of Perpetual Help.

After the close of the Assembly, the confreres gathered for a wonderful celebratory dinner. Fr. Chandana (Vicar) proposed a toast to Fr. Shiran, after which Fr. Shiran was presented with a gift and special memento in recognition of his 12 years as Regional Superior, followed by a rousing rendition of the Vivat.

Each participant at the Assembly was presented with a Region of Colombo shirt, highlighting the new sexennial theme: Missionaries of Hope in the footsteps of the Redeemer.

David J. Hore, C.Ss.R.