07/05/2011, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Card. Ranjith: "Benedict XVI is our Good Shepherd, we pray for him"

by Melani Manel Perera
Mass to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Pope’s priesthood of the pope. In addition to the liturgy, the Archdiocese of Colombo and the Apostolic Nunciature organized an art competition and a small concert. More than 800 Tamil and Sinhalese children participated, from all over the country.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Benedict XVI has a great responsibility, as the Good Shepherd to his flock. God chose him as Pope, and we must pray for him, for good health, long life, and the courage and strength to face new missions”, said Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, in the homily of the Mass in honour of the pontiff. In Sri Lanka, the Archdiocese of Colombo and the Apostolic Nunciature hosted a celebration of the Eucharist, a ceremony and a concert to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the pontificate of Benedict XVI and the 60th anniversary of his ordination. The Eucharist and ceremony were held on July 3, the concert on 29th. 

Together with the Archbishop, Mgr. Joseph Spiteri, apostolic nuncio, celebrated the thanksgiving mass at the Cathedral St. Lucia in Kotahena. Bishops Winston Fernando (Diocese of Badulla), Norbert Andradi (diocese of Anuradhapura) and Cletus Chandrasiri (diocese Rathnapura) were the other concelebrants.

The liturgy was followed by the awarding of an art competition, which was attended by 800 children of Colombo and other diocese. The competition theme was "The Shepherd reaches out those in need, love and reconciliation leading to the sharing and solidarity." In thanking event organizer Msgr. Spiteri, the Cardinal then invited the children to enjoy their childhood correctly, with wisdom and joy. He added: "Jesus said “let the children come to me … so, my dear children, go to Jesus and accompany him. Then definitely your life will shine out ".

The prize which included a parchment signed by the nuncio, was 25 thousand rupees (about 230 dollars) to the winner, 20 thousand rupees (about180 dollars) for second place, 15 thousand rupees (about 135 dollars) for third. Many prizes were awarded to a group of Tamil and Sinhalese children, even with disabilities from various institutes and schools in the country.

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