‘Bodies were everywhere’: Sri Lanka priests recount the horror of Easter attacks

Catholic News Agency | 5/7/2019 | Staff
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Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 7, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- As Fr. Eranga De-Silva finished celebrating Easter Sunday Mass at his parish in Sri Lanka, he noticed policemen guarding the three entrances to the church.

He was celebrating the 8 a.m. Mass, and had just given the final blessing at Our Lady of Lourdes, the parish where De-Silva is a parochial vicar, when his pastor approached the altar, and whispered to him that he had “sad news.”

De-Silva - Pastor - Mass - Parish - Pulpit

De-Silva’s pastor, who had just come from celebrating Mass at a different parish, then took to the pulpit, interrupting the final hymn.

The pastor announced the news to the congregation: bombs had been detonated at two different Catholic Churches, St. Sebastian's in Negombo and St. Anthony's in Colombo. Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Raddolugama, where De-Silva was finishing Mass, is just nine miles to the south of Negombo.

People - Clue - Residences - De-Silva - CNA

“People had no clue and were instructed to move quickly to their residences safely,” De-Silva told CNA. “Then the police asked (us) to close all the gates of the church. All were wondering what was happening and what (they) were to do.”

Around noon, De-Silva decided to head to Colombo to offer his assistance as a priest, despite the risk to his safety. He heard several more blasts by the time he reached the city, he told CNA.

Day - Negombo - Priests - Help - Prayer

The next day, he headed to Negombo, where priests were needed for help with prayer services and burials. “I saw hundreds of priests gathering, despite the prevailing risk, to help the flock,” he said.

Fr. Sachitra Perera was another priest who rushed toward danger after he heard of the attacks. He was heading to visit his parents on Easter when another priest told him of the bombs.

Priest - Fr - Manjula - Fernando - Blast

“My parish priest Fr. Manjula Fernando called me and said that there had been a blast so...
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