A preacher par excellence and missionary fired with apostolic zeal

Tribute to new Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Ranjith
By Commodore Shemal Fernando

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Monsignor Malcolm Ranjith who presently serves as the Secretary of the Holy Father's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments as the Archbishop of Colombo. Thus, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith whose Vatican based Congregation is located in the precincts of the famed St. Peter's Basilica in Rome will soon move to Colombo to spearhead the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka.

It was Pope Benedict XVI who appointed Archbishop Malcolm on December 10, 2005 to perhaps one of the key Congregations of the Roman Curia that attends to everything pertaining to the Apostolic See concerning the regulation and promotion of the sacred liturgy, primarily of the sacraments, within a few months of his election as the Holy Father. Archbishop Malcolm is the first Sri Lankan to be appointed Secretary of a Congregation.

Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith was ordained a priest at 27 by Pope Paul VI in Rome, appointed a Bishop at 43 by Pope John Paul II and elevated an Archbishop at 53 by Pope John Paul II. Known as a tireless servant of truth, justice and freedom, he has won the love, respect and admiration of people of all walks of life as well as religious leaders of all over the world.

Archbishop Malcolm has mastered ten languages - Italian, German, French, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, English, Sinhala and Tamil and thus has a remarkable ability to converse and understand the problems of the Catholic Church spread throughout the world.

He has been blessed with many firsts in his 32 years in the ministry. He is the first Sri Lankan ever to be appointed by the Holy Fathers for key assignments such as the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Apostolic Ambassador and Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Prior to that he was the first Bishop of Ratnapura.
He had his ecclesiastic studies at Pontifical Urban University and Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome. Later, he obtained a Baccalaureate in Theology, a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture and a Special Certificate in Biblical Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, .

Archbishop Malcolm has always promoted inter-faith dialogue in Sri Lanka as he believes that can eliminate potential causes of tensions and disagreements between the religious and ethnic groups that make up the country.

Early life and priesthood

Born on November 15, 1947 as the only son of Don William and Mary Winifreeda and baptized in Polgahawela, he had his education at De La Salle College, Mutwal. He joined St. Aloysius' Seminary at Borella in 1965 and after three months entered the National Seminary at Ampitiya. During the regency, Bro. Malcolm served SEDEC in the district of Ratnapura building homes for the needy. Thereafter, he joined the tutorial staff of St. Thomas' College, Kotte.

Archbishop Malcolm is a warm and gentle friend gifted with enough charisma to enthuse others. He is a lucid and popular teacher of Holy Scripture; preacher par excellence; but above all, a missionary fired with apostolic zeal.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
Other Plus Articles
Raring to go but not quite so
OPA should award medals of honour to the armed forces -- Letter to the editor
Thinking and feeling Sri Lankan -- Letter to the editor
Shame on you, Milinda Moragoda -- Letter to the editor
Another maverick’s encounter with Leonard Woolf in Jaffna -- Appreciation
The memories that will linger -- Appreciation
A brave spirit and woman of substance -- Appreciation
Athula’s own eco treatment for IDP camps
Ramya wins award in Guardian Orange First Words Contest
Hidden talents now on show
Exciting musical extravaganza with Sujeeva
Two local voices in anthology that transcends time and geography
Kandula – the little elephant of the Army
A preacher par excellence and missionary fired with apostolic zeal
Simply enjoy the sand and the sea
Have a bush dinner under the stars and watchful eyes of crocs


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2009 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution