OMI Colombo Sri Lanka

Marian Grove - A Sanctuary for Retiring Priests


Priests and religious play a vital role in molding the lives of the people who come under their influence. They dedicate their lives to serve the flock voluntarily, entering the religious and priestly order.

Being human, they are also feeble, weak and fragile like any other. With the passage of time, like all men and women they enter the age, where they need the help and support of those who are healthy and strong.

Mostly what they need is to see that they are being cared for by the flock whom they looked after in the prime of their youth. But the stark-naked truth is the world forgets them easily as the saying goes “out of sight- out of mind”. The feeling of being forgotten, discarded and forsaken is the worst thing one has to endure.

When we enjoyed Christmas parties did we ever think of the priests who live away from our midst due to old age and being incapacitated? Have we ever bothered to find out about `that priest’ or `this priest’ who blessed us, our houses, baptized us, officiated at our marriages and participated to share our joys and sorrows and never forget to pray for lost ones of yours and mine?

If we have failed to give a thought, just think about them. The priests with whom we moved and worked with and at times with whom we had had heated arguments or had waged wars of words or whom we have humiliated, taken to courts, against whom we had made false allegations and sat on the judgment against them it is time to amend and make friends.

Because we are now wise enough or as the mother of the cured boy said “ask him, he is of age”; we are now able to understand why it happened that way and not the way you and I thought.

So those priests who now live away from the public eye or from the limelight as we say, still love us and care for us for we are a part of their flock in someday somewhere in your life, my life and their life. They would love to see, love to hear our loving voice.

They do not want anything but that feeling they get that we care for them, is more than all the happiness, the world could offer. If you could see him and if one of us feel-that we like to reconcile with any priest that we had a fight, as misunderstanding. Christmas and New Year season is the time to make amends.

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How it was started?

The House has come up in the former playground where the juniors played football and held the Annual Sports Meet. It was blessed and opened on December 8, 1981, by Colombo Archbishop Emeritus, The Most Rev. Dr. Nicholas Marcus Fernando for the benefit of the Priests and Brothers willing to rest and spend their golden years. That House is now in its Post-Silver Jubilee era providing shelter to those under its roof.

It was the brainchild of former Oblate Provincial Fr. Bernard Quintus OMI. He saw the need for such a House for the retiring Oblates.

During his second term in office as the Provincial of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate he put into action an idea that was haunting in his mind for some time while serving his first term in the Province.

The House he initiated was meant to provide shelter to the retiring priests Oblates, or for Oblates looking for a place to rest for a period, or for those priests who are in need of medical attention.

The Juniorate is close at hand and the students could be of assistance to the ailing and aging priests. This is a good opportunity for those willing to show love and care in whatever way they wish. It is better for one to step into the House and see for himself what he could offer.

The House is managed by the Oblate administration.