Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Colombo
|Archdiocese of Colombo
Archidioecesis Columbensis in Taprobane
|Area||3,838 km2 (1,482 sq mi)|
|(as of 2006)
|Cathedral||St. Lucia's Cathedral|
|Patron saint||St. Joseph Vaz, Our Lady of Lanka, Our Lady of Madhu, St. Thomas the Apostle|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Malcolm Ranjith|
|Auxiliary Bishops||Fidelis Fernando
Sampathawaduge Maxwell Grenville Silva
|Emeritus Bishops||Nicholas Marcus Fernando Archbishop Emeritus (1977–2002)
Oswald Gomis Archbishop Emeritus (2002–2009)
|Website of the Archdiocese|
The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Colombo (Latin: Archidioecesis Columbensis in Taprobane) is a Latin Metropolitan Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church, whose ecclesiastical province covers all Sri Lanka plus the Maldives (which are within the archbishopric). Yet is depends on the missionary Roman Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The archidiocesan motherchurch and cathedral seat of its Metropolitan Archbishop is St. Lucia’s Cathedral. Its other National Shrines are the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka, a minor basilica in Tewatta, and St. Anthony's National Shrine in Kochchikade.
As per 2014, it pastorally served 637,729 Catholics (8.8% of 7,281,000 total) on 3,838 km² in 128 parishes with 592 priests (313 diocesan, 279 religious), 1,560 lay religious (380 brothers, 1,180 sisters) and 292 seminarians.
Its suffragan sees are :
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Anuradhapura
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Badulla
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Chilaw, its daughter
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Galle, its daughter
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, its oldest daughter
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Kandy, its second daughter
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Kurunegala
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Mannar
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Ratnapura
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Trincomalee, its daughter.
- Erected as the Diocese of Ceylon, on territory split off from (French colonial Indochinese) Diocese of Cochin by Pope Gregory XVI on December 3, 1834.
- Renamed as the Diocese of Colombo on February 17, 1845, having lost territory to establish the then Apostolic Vicariate of Jaffna (now a suffragan diocese).
- Lost territory on 1883.04.20 to establish the then Apostolic Vicariate of Kandy (now its suffragan diocese)
- Pope Leo XIII elevated it to Metropolitan Archdiocese of Colombo on September 1, 1886.
- Lost territories repeatedly : on 1893.08.25 to establish Diocese of Galle and Diocese of Trincomalee, on 1939.01.05 to establish Diocese of Chilaw, all three as its suffragans
- Its name was changed by Pope Pius XII to the Archdiocese of Colombo in Ceylon on December 6, 1944, but was returned to simply the Archdiocese of Colombo on May 22, 1972 by Pope Paul VI.
- It enjoyed Papal visits form Pope Paul VI (1970.12), Pope John Paul II (January 1995) and Pope Francis (January 2015).
- Suffragan Bishops of Ceylon
- Vicente do Rosayro, Oratorians of Philip Neri (C.O.) (born India) (1836.12.23 – death 1842.04.29), Titular Bishop of Thaumaci (1836.12.23 – 1842.04.29)
- Caetano Antonio Mulsuce, C.O. (born India) (1843.05.24 – 1845.02.17 see below), Titular Bishop of Usula (1843.05.24 – death 1857.01.25)
- Suffragan Bishops of Colombo
- Caetano Antonio Mulsuce, C.O. (born Italy) (see above 1845.02.17 – death 1857.01.25)
- Giuseppe Maria Bravi, Sylvestrines (O.S.B. Silv.) (born Italy) (1857.01.25 – 1860.08.15), succeeding as previous Coadjutor Bishop of Colombo (1849.08.03 – 1857.01.25) and Titular Bishop of Tipasa (1849.08.03 – 1860.08.15)
- Hilarion Silani, O.S.B. Silv. (1863.09.17 – death 1879.03.27), Titular Bishop of Callinicum (1863.09.22 – 1879.03.27)
- Clemente Pagnani, O.S.B. Silv. (1879.11.12 – 1883.04.20), Titular Bishop of Hephæstum (1879.11.12 – 1886.09.01), next only Apostolic Vicar of daughter see Kandy (Sri Lanka) (1883.04.20 – 1886.09.01), promoted first Bishop of Kandy (1886.09.01 – death 1911.06)
- Christophe-Etienne Bonjean, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.) (born France) (1883.04.20 – 1886.09.01 see below), formerly Titular Bishop of Medea (1868.07.24 – 1886.09.01) as Apostolic Vicar of Jaffna (Sri Lanka) (1868.07.05 1868.07.24 – 1883.04.20)
- Metropolitan Archbishops of Colombo
- Christophe-Etienne Bonjean, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.) (see above 1886.09.01 – death 1892.08.03)
- André-Théophile Mélizan, O.M.I. (born France) (1893.04.15 – death 1905.06.27); previously Titular Bishop of Adrana (1879.07.18 – 1886.09.01) as Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of Jaffna (Sri Lanka) (1879.07.18 – 1883.04.20), succeeding as last Apostolic Vicar of Jaffna (1883.04.20 – 1886.09.01), (see) restyled first Bishop of Jaffna (1886.09.01 – 1893.04.15)
- Antoine Coudert, O.M.I. (born France) (1905.01.28 – death 1929.03.31), succeeding as former Coadjutor Archbishop of Colombo (1898.07.18 – 1905.01.28) and Titular Archbishop of Balaneæ (1898.07.18 – 1905.01.28)
- Pierre-Guillaume Marque, O.M.I. (born France) (1929.12.16 – death 1937.06.04)
- Jean-Marie Masson, O.M.I. (born France) (1938.06.13 – 1944.12.06 see below)
- Metropolitan Archbishops of Colombo in Ceylon
- Jean-Marie Masson, O.M.I. (see above 1944.12.06 – death 1947.07.28)
- Thomas Cooray, O.M.I. (first native incumbent) (1947.07.26 – 1972.05.22 see below), succeeding as former Titular Archbishop of Preslavus (1945.12.14 – 1947.07.26) and Coadjutor Archbishop of Colombo in Ceylon (1945.12.14 – 1947.07.26); created Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo (1965.02.25 – 1988.10.29), also President of Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (1970 – 1977)
- Metropolitan Archbishops of Colombo (again)
- Thomas Cooray, O.M.I. (see above 1972.05.22 – retired 1976.09.02), died 1988
- Nicholas Fernando (1977.03.21 – retired 2002.07.06), also President of Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (1989 – 1995)
- Oswald Gomis (2002.07.06 – retired 2009.06.16); previously Titular Bishop of Mulia (1968.04.09 – 1995.11.02) as Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo (1968.04.09 – 1995.11.02), Bishop of Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka) (1995.11.02 – 2002.07.06), President of Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (1998 – 2004), President of Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (2000 – 2005)
- Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don (16 June 2009 – ...), also President of Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (2010.04 – ...), created Cardinal-Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (2010.11.20 2011.02.13 – ...); previously Titular Bishop of Cabarsussi (1991.06.17 – 1995.11.02) as Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo (Sri Lanka) (1991.06.17 – 1995.11.02), Bishop of Ratnapura (Sri Lanka) (1995.11.02 – 2001.10.01), Archbishop ad personam (2001.10.01 – 2004.04.29) as Adjunct Secretary of Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (2001.10.01 – 2005.12.10), Apostolic Nuncio (papal ambassador) to Indonesia (2004.04.29 – 2005.12.10), Apostolic Nuncio to Timor-Leste (2004.04.29 – 2005.12.10), Titular Archbishop of Umbriatico (2004.04.29 – 2009.06.16) as Secretary of Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (2005.12.10 – 2009.06.16).
List of Churches in the Archdiocese
- St. Thomas' Church, Kotte
- All Saints' Church, Borella
- St. Mary's Church, Maharagama
- Sacred Heart Church, Rajagiriya
- Holy Rosary Church, Slave Island, Colombo-02
- St. Philip Neri's Church, Pettah, Colombo-12
- St. Anthony's Church, Kollupitiya, Colombo-03
- St. Mary's Church. Bambalapitiya, Colombo-04
- St. Lawrence's Church, Wellawatte, Colombo-06
- Fatima Church, Maradana
- St.Joseph's Church, Grandpass, Colombo 14
- St.Mary's Church, Mattakuliya, Colombo 15
- St. James the Great Church, Mutwal, Colombo 15
- St.Sebastian's Church, Panchikawatha, Colombo 10
St. Theresa's Church Colombo
In 1937, a proposal was made to Fr. Giwdan, the parish priest of Bambalapitiya, to lay a foundation for a Catholic church. Bishop has given his permission and as a result the temporary structure was built and dedicated to St. Theresa. In time the Catholic community of the area grew and Fr. James has initiated a process in 1934 to construct the existing church.
In 1951, construction started and in 1952 Archbishop Thomas Corey has handed over the church to Dominican fathers. It was completed and consecrated on 7 October 1961 by Archbishop Thomas Cooray.