The annual feast of the St. Anthony's Church in Katchathivu islet was held last Saturday (February 24th).The Church in the Northern islet is an important place of reverence for people of the Catholic faith living across the border. Hundreds of Indian devotees together with the members of Sri Lankan Catholic community attend the religious ceremonies in the islet which are held giving prominence to customary rituals and practices.
According to Navy media, the feast was conducted in Sinhala for the first time this year and in Tamil as well. Incidentally, this is the second ceremony to be held at the new church constructed by the Sri Lanka Navy. About 10,000 devotees attended the feast this year.
The Sri Lanka Navy facilitated the transport of devotees to the islet during the feast. This was made easy by the opening of the second stage of the Delft Jetty, last week. The Navy also provided meals and all infrastructure facilities, including sanitary and drinking water facilities for the visiting devotees. Temporary jetties were put up to secure their boats safely while special Naval lifesaving and medical teams were deployed to ensure their safety and welfare.
The State Minister of Child Affairs, Hon. (Mrs.) Vijayakala Maheswaran, Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, senior Naval Officers and a large number of religious dignitaries were also present at the feast.