St. Anthony’s church Dalupotha – the Church of the Great Miracle worker of God!
In the city known as “Little Rome”, there is a magnificent church built and devoted to the dearest saint of all time – St. Anthony – adjacent to the Colombo Chillaw highway in Dalupotha, Negombo. The church building, almost 80% funded by the donations of the devotees is visible from the highway as a beautiful golden tower structure.
The church, which turned 100 years on the 13th of June 1992 conducted its centenary celebrations in a grand scale with the participation of Catholics from all around the area. The church is flocked every Tuesday by thousands of devotees, both from the 100% catholic community in Dalupotha. Three masses are celebrated, one at 7 a.m. another at 5 p.m. and then the third at 7.p.m.
On Tuesdays Catholics and non-Catholics alike congregate at the church to pay their love and devotion to St. Anthony who graciously intercedes on their behalf to obtain many favors and graces from God the Almighty. Offerings of flowers, candles, incense and oil along with the prayers of the devotees inspire faith and tranquility in all those who visit the church.
The foundation for the new church building was laid on the 28th of January 1989 by the then Auxiliary Bishop of the Colombo Archdiocese Most Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis. Most Rev. Nicholas Marcus the Archbishop of Colombo during 1992 blessed and consecrated to God this new church on the morning of 13th June, 1992 at the 7 a.m. mass.
The beauty of the new church building is intensified by the arc shaped doors that add a feeling of spaciousness to the interior of the church. The 11ft tall sculpture of the Risen Lord and the murals that adorn its sides depicting the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses towards its right and how it should be brought to life in our lives for us to be resurrected through the cross of Christ being depicted on its left steal the eye and mind of all those who step inside the church.
The marble Altar which is placed in the church has an interesting tale of history. It was imported to Sri Lanka to be affixed in the Wennappuwa Church but was badly shattered and damaged due to mishandling at the harbor. Mr. S. William Fernando – the skilled muralist who handled all mural work at the Dalupotha Church managed to restore to its original beauty and condition.
The construction work of the new church commenced during Rev. Fr. Tudor Wanigasekara’s time as the Parish Priest. All plans and blueprints of the church design made to last for a very long time are the offspring of Fr. Tudors’ hard work. The wiring, lighting and the installation of the sound systems have been done according to modern principals and standards which ensure that church liturgy can be conducted to the best effect.
A separate section is attached to the church dedicated for the devotion of St. Anthony with facilities to pray and light candles. The statues kept behind St. Anthony depict the birth, the caning, the death and the laying of Jesus in the tomb. Adjoining the Mission House of the priests is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel hosting the Holy Eucharist for daily praise and worship. Towards the front of the church is the beautiful statue of Mother Mary of Velankanni which receives daily adoration from the faithful.
Fr. Tudor Wanigasekara receives notable credit for the construction of these facilities and it was under much complaining, duress and distress he went ahead with this project with the help of the faithful flock of Jesus Christ through the intercession and help of St. Anthony.
Parish Priest : Rev. Fr. Roshan Fernando
Assistant Parish Priest(s) :
Rev. Fr. Suranga Fernando
St. Anthonies Church
Negombo – 11500