Northern Naval Command assists annual feast of the St Anthony’s Church at Palativu
The Catholic devotees of Jaffna and Kilinochchi visited the small island of Palaitivu on a pilgrimage in lent to celebrate the feast of St. Anthony’s Church. This year’s feast was conducted on 19th of March that marks the 3rd Sunday of the lent.
Accordingly, the church conducted its annual feast in a grandeur manner with greater assistance rendered by the Sri Lanka Navy. The proceedings of the feast were arranged under close supervision of the Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Jayantha De Silva
Nearly 15,000 Catholic devotees who attended this significant occasion from Gurunagar, Navanthurai, Passaiyoor, Valaippadu, Iranaimathanagar, Pallikuda, Mandativu, Jaffna, Negombo, Delft and Mannar had used 224 traditional boats (Wallam) and 797 dinghies as their means of transportation.
The Festive High Mass was conducted by the Bishop of Jaffna, His Lordship Rt. Revd. Dr. Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam, and Parish Priest of Valaippadu, Revd. Fr. S. Vimalasekaran. It was also attended by the Magistrate of Kilinochchi, the Deputy Area Commander of Northern Naval Area, a large number reverend Fathers, Sisters and dignitaries representing various organizations of Kilinochchi and Jaffna Districts.
Several teams of naval personnel from the Northern Naval Command, under the leadership of the Commander Northern Naval Area, executed this large scale operation by providing facilities such as sea transportation, infrastructure, camping, meals, medical facilities and sea ambulance, sanitary and drinking water to the devotees and other officials who attended this year’s feast. Further, special sea units were also deployed for security and lifesaving purpose, in the vicinity of the island throughout.