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Annual Feast held at St. Anthony's Church in Katchativu island

March 17, 2019

The annual feast of the St. Anthony's Church in Katchativu island was held successfully on Saturday (16 March)

According to Navy media, the Sri Lanka Navy had rendered assistance to the Bishop of Jaffna and the District Secretary, Jaffna to organize this annual religious event. This is the third year the annual ceremony is being held at the newly build church constructed by the Sri Lanka Navy.

The St. Anthony's Church situated on the Kachchativu islet is considered an important place of reverence for Catholic devotees on both sides of the Palk Strait.

About 6,500 local devotees and around 2100 Indian devotees had attended the Mass, this year.

Religious dignitaries including the Bishop of Jaffna, His Lordship Rt. Revd. Dr. Justin Gnanapragasam, Indian Council General in Jaffna Mr. S. Balachandran, Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Commander Northern Naval Area and Rear Admiral Meril Wickramasinghe were also present at the ceremony.

The Sri Lanka Navy had begun the initial preparations for the event from last month (February) in coordination with the Jaffna Bishop and District Secretary. Provision of food and other infrastructure facilities, including electricity, installation of sanitary facilities and drinking water were undertaken by the Navy. Temporary jetties were put up for the convenience of the arriving devotees and to safely secure their boats. In addition special Navy lifesaving teams and a medical crew were on duty round the clock to ensure the wellbeing of the devotees.

Logistical facilities for the movement of religious dignitaries, state officials, devotees, local and foreign media personnel and to transport required materials including water to the Kachchativu islet from Kankesanthurai and Kurikadduwan jetties was also carried out by the Navy using its vessels.