Tamil fishermen rebuild storm-wrecked church
ucanews.com reporter, Jaffna
June 17 2010
When the displaced Tamil families returned to Mandathivu, the island which they had been forced to leave four years ago, they found St Peter's church in ruins caused by cyclone Nisha.
They erected a new portico so church services could resume immediately and are now collecting money for a complete restoration. "Rebuilding it was absolutely essential because life in the island revolves around temples and churches," said fisherman Asservatham Pathinathar.
They had been forced off the island in 2006 because it was strategically important to the Sri Lankan navy in their battle with Tamil rebels. They were allowed back last December, but found parts of the island land mined and dozens of homes destroyed or still under naval requisition. Most of the 300 returning families, many of them Catholic, are still living in makeshift sheds.
"With the war and the cyclone, which also destroyed a lot of our old fishing grounds, everything seems against us," said Pathinathar.
"But we will complete the church building as we are inspired by a Tamil proverb - ’koyil illa ooril kudiyirukkathey’: Do not live in a village where there is no church."
Sri Lankan fishermen's freedom bid hits a snag
Church rebuilt amid war,tsunami
Bishops gets glimpse of Tamil's final battlefield
Church helps cyclone victims
Pope Francis faces Catholics who continue to resist and remain fearful of his efforts to change pastoral methods
Church parish and St. Vincent de Paul team up to be an example of God's mercy for those claiming asylum
Superiors at South Korean conference pledge to help preserve the earth
Says local church will act if similar threat arises there
The missing could be brainwashed by terror groups, used for sexual purposes or their organs traded, they say