Greetings in the name of Lord Jesus Christ, to whose Most Sacred Heart our Seminary is consecrated!
‘Daham Sevana’(which literally means the Shade/House of Doctrine) is the only Diocesan Propaedeutic Seminary in Sri Lanka. This was established in 1980 when His Grace, Archbishop Nicholas Marcus Fernando of revered memory, was the Archbishop of Colombo.
Our motto is Cessate et Cognoscite (Be Still and Know…) from Psalm 46,10 because the seminarians who come here after their minor seminary formation spend quality time in a salubrious environment to discern seriously their calling to the priesthood. Our Anthem has this as its chorus and our crest mentions this line at the bottom. Our main door has this very clearly carved in timber, so that each time they pass through the door they are reminded about the purpose of their stay here.
We give priority to Spiritual and Human Formation, while laying solid foundations for the Intellectual and Pastoral aspects as well. Our program makes use of group dynamics; compelling the students to vibrantly interact with one another constantly, so that these activities help them to come truly face to face with the reality of their true selves. We dedicate a major part of our time table for well-planned spiritual inputs and activities, while allowing plenty of solitude and free time for them to pray personally and to reflect about the meaning of their vocation. Challenging their youthfulness and constantly evaluating what we do here, are key factors we adopt in our strategy of formation. The seminarians respond joyfully and are eager to await many surprising activities we plan.
Formation today needs to take into consideration the new reality of uncertainty. Not much can be planned due to pandemics and environmental crises, together with the deteriorating economies and cultural values in many parts of the world. The new normal will be the new pastoral context within which the shepherds will have to go in search of the lost sheep.
At a time when sons and daughters are but scarce in families, the Lord is inviting young people to respond despite the dearth. Like the widow of Zarephath and the widow who put all she had in the Temple till, we are now challenged to give whatever we have been preserving for our sustenance and existence. Through Elijah the Lord ensures that the jar of meal will never see its bottom and the cruse of oil will never ran dry. The Lord Jesus promised Peter and the disciples rich rewards for having renounced everything; their homes and families and property. Now is the time to renounce much so that the harvest may have sufficient labourers. Welcome to be a part of our life and mission!
Fr Cecil Joy Perera, (Ph.D Rome, Ph.D Colombo)