Alleviate suffering. Illuminate the mind. Ignite the Spirit.
Date: 
Friday, May 12, 2017

Sri Lankan families live on less than $2 a day!

Chathumini Umayangani is a 10th grader at St. Anne’s School who has a dream. That dream is to become a doctor, in order that she might be able to help others throughout her life. But the reality is that with the economic difficulties Chathumini’s community faces every day, it can be extremely difficult to get an education and break the cycle of poverty, and it can be even harder to maintain the deep faith this community has. But with the support of the Sisters of the Holy Angels, Chathumini will be given the spiritual direction and care that she needs to live out her faith – even when times are hardest.

In rural Sri Lanka, many families live on less than $2 each day. Poverty perpetuates as the many social and economic issues continually increase the number of dropouts from schools – preventing many children from being ​educated. When these children do not receive an education, the cycle of poverty continues and it is years before anyone has a chance to break it again.

This project is a unique opportunity that you can be a part of to stop the cycle of poverty for these children, like Chathumini.

 Bishop Perera Children at school

Sri Lanka

The Catholic Diocese of Kurunegala is working to combat their poverty by inviting the Sisters of the Holy Angels to join their community in the village of Kattimahana, to live among the poor and care for their many needs. The Sisters’ work in education, spiritual development, mentoring, and social work will change the future for the people of Kattimahana. This community uplift will only be possible with your generous donation to build a convent for the Sisters to live among the people.

The Sisters will help with all of the needs of the community; providing holistic uplift to give hope to all – young and old. Currently, the parents of Kattimahana work long hours in grueling agricultural jobs - just to bring home a few dollars that their whole family will live off for an entire week. Their children, who do not go to school until they are five years of age, are left home alone to fend for themselves while their parents are at work.

This unavoidable neglect leads to an array of health problems, and the children also grow up with deep feelings of abandonment. These children pray for and need someone to care for them while their parents are toiling for so little. The Sisters are the answer to their prayer and the convent is the instrument of God’s hand. Once this convent is built with your help, the Sisters will be able to start a preschool and care for even the littlest children while the parents work so hard. The children who are able to attend school are at risk for dropping out, falling behind in classes, and perpetuating the debilitating cycle of poverty they are trapped in.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ from Kattimahana are in desperate need of human relief to bring about spiritual and socio-economic change in their community: especially to the dear little ones. These people need you to be a part of the relief and hope their children long for.

Bishop Anthony Perera blessing the site of the convent Children at school 

The Sisters of the Holy Angels

For over 100 years the Sisters of the Holy Angels have worked tirelessly to spread the love of the Gospel to those in need around the world! The congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Angels was founded in 1903 by Rt. Rev. Mgr. Joseph Van Reeth, S.J., Bishop of Galle to evangelize in the Buddhist community. It was the first congregation for Sri Lankan women and has even been raised to Pontifical status!

Today, the Sisters of the Holy Angels are urgently needed in the village of Kattimahana, not only to work alongside the priests ministering to the 55,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Kurunegala, but also to minister to these poor children.

"Our mission in helping people around the Parish at Kattimahana and the children of St. Anne’s School has come across a lot of difficulties, especially since we don’t have a proper place to stay there. Our mission is currently disturbed by lot of difficulties in transportation and accommodations. The construction of the proposed convent at Kattimahana will be a unique and a great help for the Sisters of our order. The establishment of this convent at Kattimahana, in the close vicinity of the shrine and the school, creates a great opportunity for us to easily move with the parishioners, pilgrims to the shrine, and the children of the school in order to render a better service to the people in the surrounding areas… …Thank you… Your kindness is truly appreciated in the name of God."
Rev. Sister Carmen Fernando
Superior 

The sisters will also serve the community, working to lift families out of generational poverty through education, spiritual development, mentoring, and social work. The Sisters of the Holy Angels will work alongside not only their parish priests, but also the local government to collaborate on poverty reducing strategies that will ensure the people all have access to clean water, education, and healthcare.

As you think about the sisters, please pray for their work in this terribly impoverished community. They include Sr. Carmen, Sr. Anita, Sr. Shanika, Sr. Marina, and Sr. Mary. They are amazing women of God. Their hearts for these children and families are big. Their compassion is unmatched.

The Biggest Obstacle is Already Gone

Thanks to the great generosity of Fr. Lionel Fernando the biggest obstacle to any building project, and often the most expensive part, is already generously taken care of! Currently the Director of Catechetics, Bible, and Education Apostolates, Fr. Lionel offered his own ancestral property to the community’s dream of having a convent for the Sisters. This property stretches for more than an acre and is perfectly located nearby the Shrine and school dedicated to St. Anne! This land and its convenient location to the church and school make it an ideal location for the Sisters of the Holy Angels' new convent. What could have meant hundreds of thousands of US dollars in retirement comfort for Fr. Lionel, pictured left, was joyfully given. We can’t let Fr. Lionel’s generosity go to waste.

They Need Your Help Today

Your generosity to the Sri Lanka project ensures a safe place for the Sisters to live among the people. The plan is to build a convent with four bedrooms for the Sisters, washrooms, a kitchen, and a chapel.  It will be centrally located to the village and built high enough to prevent any flooding during monsoons. The property for the convent was already donated generously by Rev. Fr. Lionel Fernando of the Diocese of Kurunegala. This is the first step in securing a positive future for all the little children suffering and living in poverty!

  • $18 buys the material and the labor needed to make and install two windows.
  • $20 provides ten floor tiles!
  • $60 supplies two concrete columns.
  • $150 paints eight walls!
  • $209 provides all necessary items for one of the six bathrooms.
  • $850 allows ALL the earth work to be done!
  • $3000 provides for ALL the electrical work to be done!
  • $4,243 supplies ALL the bricks needed for the entire convent!

    

Your generosity is the first step in breaking the cycle of poverty in Kattimahana. The people are in desperate need of the Sisters to help their children know Christ’s love.

Give now to help the families and children in Kattimahana experience the love of Christ through the Sisters of the Holy Angels.

Give now

Read the full campaign here.