|Our family with Fr. Neil at Luna's Baptism|
One of things that are part of our life in Sri Lanka is hearing mass at our parish, St. Theresa’s in Thimbirigasyaya. It’s a beautiful church (think a smaller and simpler Santuario de San Antonio), it’s dedicated to one of my miracle saints St. Therese of Lisieux (praying her novena has answered many of my requests) and is headed by the lovely Fr. Neil Dias Karunaratne. I’ve always enjoyed Fr. Neil’s service. His homilies are simple yet capture the essence of the reading and for me it almost always hit home. His words are wrapped in wisdom and delivered with care - never preachy or trying hard to impress. It is what it is and he lets the Word of God speak for itself. This weekend is apparently his last weekend as the Parish Priest. After 10 years, he will then move on to his next apostolate. I don’t know if Fr. Neil would ever chance upon this post but for all it’s worth I would like to dedicate this post to him and honor him.
Fr. Neil, with his sermon and his presence has been a source of consolation. Living away from home is tough and one of my anchors, my spirituality, has kept me afloat. His wisdom and presence in the masses we attend has kept that spirituality alive.
We were also lucky to have him baptize our baby Luna. His calming demeanor has certainly brushed off on our baby as she did not even wince when water was being poured on her head. It is an honor for us to have him welcome our darling moon to the Christian world.
With the man that he is, I am sure that his next apostolate will be lucky to have him. I’m sure he will do great deeds as he has for the parish of St. Theresa’s for another community more in need of him.
I thank you Fr. Neil, for touching my life and our daughter’s life by simply being the priest that you are. It is an exciting journey ahead for you and as they say here, all the best!