Golden Jubilee of priesthood | Sunday Observer

Golden Jubilee of priesthood

8 May, 2022
Rev. Fr. S. Damian OMI
Rev. Fr. S. Damian OMI

Rev Fr. S. Damian(OMI) celebrated his golden jubilee as a priest. His long journey started from the little Parish of Great St. James, Ilavalai

He was born on July 23, 1944 to Magdalene and Soosai, in a family of six, three males and three females. His formative education was at St. Henry’s College, Ilavalai which was under the Oblates Fathers’ Management under the Bishop of Jaffna.

In May 1965, he made his novitiate at the Sacred Heart Novitiate “Mont Eden”, Kalutara, and professed his First Vows on May 31, 1966. From there, he proceeded to the Oblate Scholasticate, Ampitiya studying philosophy (1966 - 1968) then Theology (1968 – 1972) at the National Seminary. He took his Final Vows at the Scholasticate on June 13, 1969. He was ordained a priest by the then Auxiliary Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev.Dr L. R. Anthony at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Jaffna on April 26, 1972.

He began his priestly missionary as Assistant Parish Priest at Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu on June 1, 1972. It was only four years back before his arrival that the Oblates there took over Kanchipuram. He returned to Sri Lanka and was a frontline Preacher in the Oblate Preaching Band at Amalautpavam, Coloumbuthurai, Jaffna.

In 1982, he went to Canada to pursue higher studies in counselling and clinical psychology and earned his Master’s degree from the University of Ottawa and the University of St. Paul’s, Ottawa. On his return in 1985, in March the same year, he was appointed as the Director of the newly formed PrePhisolosophate at Amalautpavam, Coloumbuthurai, and was in that position till 1992.

During the same period, he taught psychology and spirituality at St. Xavier’s Major Seminary. That year, he was inducted into the Teaching Staff of the University of Jaffna in the Department of Psychology and Psychiatry as a Lecturer and continued working in that Department till 2005.

In1987, apart from his assigned ministries; his understanding of the Scriptures inwardly demanded that his singular focus should be healing – working among the communities. He was involved in trauma counselling and relief work for those directly affected by the battle against terrorism.