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
Young Catholics told to stand up and help lead fight for social justice
Church leaders have an opportunity to influence the draft legislation to establish this office and make a difference
Around 200 people broke into the monastery and used bulldozers to destroy property
Living rough is hard but some kids prefer it to state-run shelters
We need to use capitalism to serve the poor, to not exploit the poor, says Carolyn Woo, president of Catholic Relief Services