Fr. Sheron Dias, Oourtesy of Asian Tribune, Rome 11/5/17 with title as “20th Annual National Rally Of The Sri Lankan Catholic Migrants At Padova In Italy”
For the 20th consecutive year the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants living in Italy gathered at the hallowed Shrine of St. Anthony of Padova on the 1st of May 2017.Thousands of Srilankans took part in the Festive High Mass followed by the Solemn Procession and the Blessing with relic of St. Anthony of Padova. This Annual National Rally of the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants was organized under the guidance of Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe Perera, the National Coordinator to the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants in Italy in collaboration with the Chaplain Priests.
This Year the Festive High Mass was presided over by His Lordship Bishop Harold Anthony Perera, the Bishop of the Diocese of Kurunegala and the Bishop in-charge of the Migrant Catholics overseas. It was concelebrated by Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe Perera, the National Coordinator to the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants in Italy and Rev. Fr. Basil Rohan Fernando, the PMS National Director of Sri Lanka, together with the Chaplain Priests and Student Priests all over in Italy.
In the introduction of the Holy Mass, Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe Perera on behalf of the whole Srilankan Catholic Community paid a sincere Tribute to Rev. Fr. Enzo Poiana, the former Rector of the Basilica of St. Anthony, who died unexpectedly in August 2016. This great personality was appreciated for his special love and concern for the Srilankans and the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka. It was also declared that in September 2017 Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe Perera would celebrates his 25th Ordination Anniversary.
Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe Perera, extended his heartfelt gratitude to the Sri-Lankan Catholic Bishop Conference and particularly to His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo who is a Pioneer of this National Rally, and to all those who supported and participated on the occasion.