Holy Family Sisters’ mission in the Hill country – Kandy Diocese
The house at Pussellawa was started for the Sisters of the Holy Family whose health was greatly affected in the Convents of Jaffna, Trincomalee and Kurunegala. It was acquired to provide the Sisters of the Vicariate of Jaffna with a place of rest, where they may go from time to time to recover their health.
In 1962, Bishop of Kandy, invited the Holy Family Sisters to work in his Diocese among the Tea Plantation workers who spoke the Tamil language The first batch of Sisters arrived in Talawakelle on 27/12/1962 and they were involved in Teaching and in the Estate apostolate – that is visiting the houses of the estate workers, preparing them for the Sacraments and Catechetical works.
In 1963, St. Patrick’s College was opened for the education of the Estate workers children it was a private school run by the Diocese of Kandy and its first Principal was Sr. Justina KANAPATHY and up to 2005 a Holy Family Sister has been the Principal of this School. To this day the school is functioning and the Holy Family Sisters continue their educational service to the children of the area.
The Bishop of Kandy, invited the Holy Family Sisters and a Community was established in July 1961 by the Holy Family Sisters of the Colombo Province. In 1964 Bishop Leo invited the Holy Family Sisters of Jaffna to come and work in Ragala, on the 13th May 1964 Sisters from Talawakelle responded to this request. On 15. 01. 1966 the community of Holy Family Sisters resided in Ragala and continued their ministry. They were involved in the Estate apostolate in Ragala and adjoining estates of Wathumulla, Maha-Uva and other neighbouring estates. It was closed in ………
The Sisters came to Mattakelle on the 21st October 1966. The sisters visited the lines (residence of the estate workers) everyday and the people. The sisters accompanied The Parish Priest to the different estates for the Holy Mass and prepared them for the Sacrament of Confession and for the Holy Mass. In 1973, the Mothers’ Front was formed to help these female estate worker to care for their children’s health and education. In 1977, the formation of the local Congregation of Sisters known as Sisters of Blessed Joseph Vaz was entrusted to our Sisters in Mattakelle