Help Renovate and Enlarge a Chapel in Sri Lanka

The Parish of Maliboda Daraniyagala includes 53 Catholic families who work as day laborers on the tea plantations of the region. Like their mainly Hindu fellow plantation workers, they are originally from India. Working on the plantations, they earn very little and live in very cramped conditions. Twelve families are forced to share a single toilet, and as for school, this is little more than a dream for most of them.

As soon as a child is old enough to reach the leaves on the bushes, he or she is also sent to work in the plantations. When it rains, there is no work for the family, and hence no money. The Catholic Church is caring for the welfare of the plantation workers, regardless of whether they are Christians or Hindus, and supporting the people in their needs.

For the Catholic families here,  faith is very important. “They bear witness to the love of Christ and live together in harmony,” says Father Sanjeewa Peiris, who has come to us for help on behalf of the Diocese of Ratnapura. At present, the Catholic community has nowhere to gather together for prayer. Back in the 1950s, the Catholic Church was given the use of a building on the plantation as a chapel. Although it was originally intended for other purposes, it has served as their church ever since.

Over time, the heavy rainfall reduced the chapel to near ruin. The oldest member of the parish can testify to the fact that it has never been repaired. Now structural experts have warned that the chapel is no longer safe to use, especially on rainy days, since it may collapse at any time.

It is very hard for the Catholic faithful to have to do without Holy Mass, catechetical instruction, or a place to pray and meet for various purposes. They would like to be able to use their chapel again, but first it will need extensive renovation and repair work. The roof needs to be replaced, concrete posts introduced, and the decayed wooden elements and electrical wiring completely replaced. At the same time, the building needs to be enlarged, since it is in any case too small.

The plantation management has given its permission for the work, but unfortunately the pandemic has led to a sharp rise in prices. Although the Catholic faithful have already raised some money, it is nowhere near enough. Nonetheless, they have promised to contribute to the project with their own labor.

We are proposing to help with $11,500, so that the local faithful can very soon meet together once again and gather to pray in their chapel.

Will you give to renovate and enlarge this chapel for poor faithful in Sri Lanka?

We are sure they will remember you in their grateful prayers

Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.

Code: 312-01-19

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