Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC officially launched its Golden Jubilee Year today, 7th of November 2017 at the SEDEC National Centre premises. The organization that serves as the social arm of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka will commemorate half a century of service to the poor, marginalized and vulnerable during the next 12 months. Plans are underway to conduct specific programmes and activities to celebrate the Jubilee Year at Diocesan and national levels. At today’s launch ceremony Caritas Diocesan Directors, members of the Caritas Advisory Committee, Caritas Diocesan and National Centre Staff joined in a Thanks Giving Holy Mass celebrated by His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. Vianney Fernando, Bishop of Kandy, who is also the current Chairman of the Catholic National Commission for Justice, Peace & Human Development under which Caritas operates as its national secretariat. Delivering the Homily, Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Fernando, recalled the early beginnings of SEDEC and the services rendered during its long history to the most affected due to conflict, disaster and poverty based on the foremost virtue of ‘love’. At the end of the Thanks Giving Service, Bishop Vianney read out the proclamation of the Jubilee, which was handed over by the oldest serving member of the staff, Mr. K. T. Palitha.
Bishop Chairman Rt. Rev. Dr. Vianney Fernando sharing a reflection on “A journey of faith, hope & love” at the special session which followed the Thanks Giving Service, reminded the gathering, that the three post Vatican II Papal Encyclicals of SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM, LUMEN GENTIUM and GAUDIUM ET SPES provided the Church with much needed reflection and inspiration in the implementation of the Gospel of service to God and the people. His Lordship reiterated that the Church has always been with the people and the many revolutions experienced during the history of the world, have propelled the Church to look at the causes poverty, discrimination and marginalization, compelling the Church’s own Social Apostolate, Caritas to a new orientation in social action. Bishop Vianney added that our faith in Jesus Christ is serving mankind, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized, is what makes us different from the many international and national non-governmental organization that have flooded the country and the world.
Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC launched its new website with an embedded YouTube Channel for its documentaries and Facebook page with a view to reaching out to a wider audience. In addition, Caritas Sri Lanka –SEDEC released its new Strategic Plan for the year 2018-2021. Mr. Yu Hwa Li, Senior Executive Manager presenting the salient features of the new Strategic Plan urged the Directors and staff present at the occasion to commit to effectively implementing the Strategy in the next three years towards making a significant contribution in integral human development, disaster risk reduction and advocacy. The first copy of the new Strategic Plan was handed over to the Bishop Chairman, Diocesan Directors, Advisory Committee members and representatives of Caritas Partner Organization present at the occasion. Another significant feature of the event was release of the Golden Jubilee Theme song, written and composed by Rev. Fr. Cecil Joy Perera and its Tamil version written by Rev. Fr. Eugene Francis.