April 30, 2019 - (Sri Lanka) Father Dexter Gray, SJ, provincial of the Sri Lanka Province, recorded a video message in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka. This message follows an earlier plea for prayers.
The Jesuits in Negombo, Sri Lanka, gathered April 22 with other priests and religious for a meeting organized by the pastor of St. Sebastian Church in Katuwapitiya, Sri Lanka. They met with his Lordship Bishop Antony Jayakody, the parliamentarian Honorable Minister Sajith Pramadasa, other government officials and the police to discuss the arrangements for the burial of the victims of the blasts.
The funerals began on the afternoon of April 22. April 23 was a National Day of Mourning, the main day of commemoration for all the victims who died in the tragedy.
Father Ronald A. Mercier, provincial of the USA Central and Southern Province, joined his Jesuit brother Fr. Gray, in requesting all members of their respective provinces to pray “earnestly and intensely” for all who died or were injured and for their families.
Sri Lanka was for many years a Mission of the former New Orleans Province, and many men who entered the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus transcribed to (became part of) the Sri Lanka Province. Father Lloyd Lorio, SJ, still serves there, the last of the former New Orleans Province Jesuits who transcribed to what was then known as Ceylon.
May the Risen Lord grant peace and reconciliation to all Sri Lankans.