ASIA-OCEANIAA postal stamp to honor Fr. Tissa
Fr. Ashok STEPHEN, the current director of the Centre for Society and Religion, founded by the late Fr. Tissa BALASURIYA (†2013), has announced that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Postal Services will issue a postal stamp to honor Fr. Tissa. The official ceremony for the issuing of the stamp will take place at the CSR office in Maradana on 29 August, the 89th anniversary of Fr. Tissa’s birth.
Fr. Tissa is the 4th Oblate in whose honor a stamp is issued by the State. Before him, there were stamps honoring the late Cardinal Thomas COORAY (†1988), Bishop Edmund PEIRIS (†1989) and Fr. Marcelline JAYEKODY (†1998).
In 1971, Fr. Tissa founded the Centre for Society & Religion, a truly unique institution committed to a living theology in action. With dynamic leadership, adopting a far-sighted and integral approach to the many burning issues of the country, he steered the CSR with other likeminded groups and individuals to work for Peace, Reconciliation and Human Rights without any sectarian slant.
As Director of CSR, his work was many sided. He promoted inter-religious, inter-generational and inter-gender understanding as well as environmental preservation. A prolific writer, he wrote many books and he contributed profusely to local and foreign journals. He was a founding member of the Citizens Committee for National Harmony and the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka and of the International organization, The Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians.
In his effort to liberate the marginalized and oppressed in Sri Lanka, he was often misunderstood, but he was never deterred. With his love for justice and for down trodden humanity, and with his good humour, he continued his work unabated.
This year, 2013,
the OMI Vietnam Mission has good reason to rejoice: three new priests were
ordained in June. In addition, on August 30 the Bishop of Phu Cuong ordained
six new deacons These ordinations will enable the Mission to strengthen and
develop little by little the scope of its apostolic activities in the country.