About Us

MISSION

The Parish of Our Lady of Fatima, Dedicated to The Mother Of God Seeks To Follow In The Footsteps of The Lord, With The Constant Protection of Our Heavenly Father And The Power of The Holy Spirit, And Faithful Pilgrims On Earth, Journeying Towards Eternal Bliss, Growing In Generosity And Compassion, And Loving One Another As Our Savior Did.

Fatima Church Battarmulla – a Vibrant Parish

  • The history of the Parish of Battarmulla portrays the faith, commitment and travails of  a flock of God’s People. With the coming of the Portuguese to Sri Lanka in 1505 A.D. Kotte Sri Jayawardanapura became the cradle of Catholicism in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless the recent history of Catholic activity in Battaramulla, an immediate suburb of Sri Jayawardanapura, commenced in the nineteen fifties with the introduction of two housing schemes by the government at Battaramulla. To the Catholics of this little town, that did not have a place of public worship, Rev. Fr. J. Nissen OMI, a French National and Parish Priest of Kotte, started celebrating the Sunday Mass in a house in the Housing Scheme. This was obstructed by misled groups that threw volleys of stones on the roof of the house concerned. Government jobs of Catholics were at stake with warnings together with a ruling by the Department of National Housing that no religious activities were to be held in residential houses of the schemes. A second attempt to have the mass in a house outside the housing scheme, resulted in the house-holder having to shift his entire residence out of Battaramulla to avoid confrontations and harassment by mischief-makers. Undaunted by such happenings and backed by an enthusiastic community, Fr. Nissen was successful in getting a house on the outskirts of Battaramulla for a monthly rental of Rs.60/- This house “Ratnayake Walauwa” by name (Waluwa is the Sinhala equivalent for Villa) on a scenic hillock by the main road, dilapitated and uninhabited for some time, but with an inbuilt altar on a side, was to become the hub of Catholic activity in Battaramulla in the years to come. On 26th July 1959, the Feast day of St. Anne, placing a statue of Our Lady of Fatima by the side of the altar Rev. Fr. Nissen had the first Eucharistic Celebration in this house saying that if any day this house came to by owned by the Church, the church to be built should be dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. Regular services on Sundays were held thereafter.
  • Although Rev. Fr. Nissen left for his native land France in 1962, the wish he made at the first Eucharistic Celebration came true three years later when, assisted by Rev. Fr. Henry Rodrigo, Parish Priest of Kotte at the time, His Grace the Archbishop of Colombo Thomas Cardinal Cooray acquired the premises containing the “Ratnayake Walauwa” in 1972.
  • The shifting of the House of Parliament and making Sri Jayawardanapura the Administrative Capital of the country, caused an influx of Catholics to this part of the island. Rev. Fr. Stanley Abeysekera, Parish Priest Kotte, and Rev. Fr. Don Sylvester from the Secular Institute of Our Lady of Lanka who were in charge of Battaramulla, rebuilt a part of the old “Walauwa” giving it the appearance of a small church.
  • With  Prayer and continuous representations to the Hierarchy  by the seniors of the community, Fatima Church Battaramulla was raised to parish status in 1984 with Rev. Fr. Victor  F. Jayamanne as its first Parish Priest. Thereon along with the growth of the Parish a number of societies and associations such as the Legion of Mary, Sacred Heart Society, S.V.P. were formed through which the social and religious obligations of the community were fulfilled. The morale and teamwork of the Parish was such, that a new Mission House and a new church were constructed during the tenure of the first Parish Priest itself.
  • Lightning struck the church in Nov. 1998 causing considerable damage to the church Rev. Fr. Lalith Perera Parish Priest at the time who was miraculously saved, repaired the damage and completed the church building as per original plan.
  • Rev. Fr. Kithsiri Thirimanne came to the Parish with the declaration of the Golden Jubilee in 2009. Together with the spiritual development of the flock in preparation for the Jubilee he made vast improvements to the church and the environment. The marble altar installed was consecrated by His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, when the presided at the Jubilee Festive Mass on 24th October 2010.