Mission in Sri Lanka 
Mother Province: Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in India 

Sri Lanka is known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. The Conventual Franciscan presence in India has always been sensitive to the missionary nature of the Order and urged Friar Joseph CILIA of Malta to found a mission in Sri Lanka. In 2004, the friars contacted the Archbishop of Colombo about opening the mission. The 2007 Provincial Chapter decided to establish the mission and thus, the St. Francis Friary in Dalupotha, Sri Lanka, Archdiocese of Colombo, was canonically erected on December 1, 2009. In 2014, the St. Anthony Friary in Katana was opened followed by the filial house in Kandy in 2016.

The mission has ten solemnly professed friars, three simply professed friars, two friaries and three filial houses.

Dalupotha – Negombo: St. Francis Friary
The St. Francis Friary is the Order’s first friary to be canonically founded in Sri Lanka. It is located in Dalupotha, a small town near the west coast of the island and is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Colombo. In 2009, former Minister General Friar Marco TASCA blessed and inaugurated the friary, accompanied by the Most Reverend Joseph SPITERI, Titular Archbishop of Serta, who was then Apostolic Nuncio in Sri Lanka. Members of the Federation of Asian Minor Conventuals (FAMC) were also present. Currently, the mission headquarters serves as the administrative center and as a pre-novitiate formation house. The friars of the mission in Sri Lanka are involved in vocation promotion, formation and pastoral work.

Katana: St. Anthony Friary
The St. Anthony Friary was the second friary to be erected in western Sri Lanka. It is located in Katana, a city famous for fishing and tourism. The friary is the nursery of the mission and serves as a formation house for young candidates. The presence was originally established in 2014 by Friar Marco TASCA together with the Most Reverend Maxwell SILVA, Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was erected as a friary in 2022.

Kandy: St. Joseph Vaz Filial House
Kandy is the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka. It is surrounded by mountains and valleys and is renowned for its scenic beauty. Kandy is famous for two other reasons as well. It is where the relic of the tooth of Buddha is preserved and it is home to the National Seminary for the formation of Catholic clergy. On April 23, 2016, a long-awaited dream came true; a filial house was erected in Kandy and blessed by the Most Reverend Vianney FERNANDO, then Bishop of Kandy, Sri Lanka. The filial house is named after St. Joseph Vaz, also called “The Apostle of Sri Lanka.”

Jaffna: Ave Maria Filial House
Jaffna had been the capital of the Tamil kingdom for centuries before it was conquered by Europeans. It still retains many Tamil cultural features. In 2019, the friars established this presence in northern Sri Lanka. The Ave Maria Filial House, located in the Diocese of Jaffna, was blessed by the Most Reverend Justin GNANAPRAGASAM, Bishop of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and was inaugurated by Friar Ugolin XERRI, a missionary from Malta who was a pioneer in India. The filial house serves as a minor seminary for Tamil speaking students.

Pita Kotte: St. Padre Pio Filial House
In recognition of the friars’ service at the St. Padre Pio Shrine in Athurugiriya, Sri Lanka (2007-2020), the Archdiocese of Colombo invited the Order to establish a community in nearby Pita Kotte. On April 8, 2020, the Most Reverend Anton RANJITH, Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, blessed the site and laid the foundation stone. The filial house was recently blessed again by the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI.

Franciscan Missionary Center
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