Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton has this week extended his thoughts and prayers to the Sri Lankan Community on behalf of the Perth Catholic community, following the bombings in the capital Colombo on Easter Sunday morning.
“It is with the greatest sadness and horror that Archbishop Costelloe and I learnt about the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday,” Bishop Sproxton said, in a statement delivered to Sri Lankan Catholic Community Chairperson Mr Chris Jayatilake on Tuesday.
“Our immediate thoughts were for the hundreds of victims and their families. We brought them to God, our Merciful Father, in prayer as we celebrated the great Christian feast of the Resurrection.”
Bishop Sproxton recognised there will be members of the local Sri Lankan community who have lost family and friends in these attacks.
“We express our sincerest condolences to you all and we will continue to pray for your loved ones,” Bishop Sproxton said.
“The people of the Archdiocese of Perth stand with you in faith and solidarity,” he concluded.
A Mass for the Sri Lankan Community, in honour of those who have died, for their families and friends, will be held this Saturday 27 April at St Mary’s Cathedral at 4pm. All are welcome to attend.
Australia’s Bishops express shock
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Mark Coleridge has expressed shock at the attacks in Sri Lanka that have left many dead, including Catholics attending Easter celebrations.
“Attacks such as this are always atrocious,” he said, “but especially when worshippers are the target and it’s the Resurrection they’re celebrating.
“We don’t know who planned the attack or what their motive may have been. But we do know that whoever’s responsible, this attack has something demonic about its planning and execution.
“We also know that violence like this won’t have the last word. That’s what Easter is about.”
On 22 April, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the deaths of two Australians who were living in Sri Lanka, and that two other Australian citizens were injured in the attacks and were recovering.
Archbishop Coleridge said he would contact Church leaders in Sri Lanka as soon as possible to extend the sympathies and prayers of the Catholic Church in Australia.
He also expressed solidarity with the more than 22,000 Sri Lankan Catholics who now call Australia home, saying the Catholic community in this country will rally around them in every way possible.
The wave of bombings were also directed at four luxury hotels. The multiple bombings have left more than 350 people dead and another 500 injured.