Kattimahana (Agenzia Fides) - On Saturday December 2nd celebrations will take place in Sri Lanka for the 180th anniversary of the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood (POSI), founded on May 19, 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson. Here, too, as in so many countries around the world, more than 120, where the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood is present, many different initiatives throughout the year took place to celebrate this special anniversary, which is also at the heart of the Holy Father's message to the "missionary children and young people, parents, formators and friends" of POSI (see Fides, 1/10/2023).
The General Secretary of POSI, Sister Roberta Tremarelli, explains: "In this very important year for our Society, we are called above all to thank the Lord for the valuable contribution that the Children's Missionary Society has made to the mission of the Church and to growth in faith since 1843 and to so many children and young people who are involved, as well as the numerous institutions and activities that are supported by the donations of children all over the world. The founder was already able to see the first sprouts of what the Holy Spirit aroused in his heart following his missionary passion; today we can enjoy the ripe fruits and are called to persevere in prayer, witness and sacrifice so that every child and young person has the opportunity to know Jesus and how "to grow in wisdom and grace". On December 2, more than 5,000 children from the 12 dioceses of the country will gather at the National Shrine of Saint Anne in the Diocese of Kurunegala, together with the approximately 1,000 animators who have contributed and continue to contribute to missionary work with children. It is the first time that POSI have come together at a national level. On this occasion, the children and young people of the children's missionary organization, true to the founder's motto "Children help children", launched a fundraising campaign for a school in the Diocese of Kurunegala by selling flags. The celebrations begin with a joint service, preceded by a solemn procession, in which the main guest is the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith, who, in his capacity as National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, contributed significantly to revitalizing the Children's Missionary Society. Also present will be the Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka, Archbishop Brian Udaigwe, the bishops of the country's 12 dioceses and over 230 priests and religious. (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 30/11/2023)