Sri Lankans welcome new apostolic nuncio

Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Tot, apostolic nuncio to Sri Lanka, upon his arrival in Colombo, April 3, 2014. Credit: Fr. Sunil De Silva/Archdiocese of Colombo.

Sri Lankan Catholics accorded a traditional welcome to their newly appointed apostolic nuncio, who arrived in Colombo to begin his diplomatic duties April 3.

Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Tot as apostolic nuncio to Sri Lanka March 22, 2014. Archbishop Nguyen Van Tot succeeds Archbishop Joseph Spiteri, who served in Colombo from 2009 and who was transferred to Ivory Coast in October.

Archbishop Emeritus Oswald Gomis of Colombo led a delegation on behalf of the national bishops' conference in receiving and welcoming the new papal ambassador at  Katunayake Airport Thursday.

The Church in Sri Lanka welcomed him with floral garlands as a percussion band and dancers processed, preceded by a lit oil lamp.

Among the delegation were Msgr. Renato Kucic, secretary to the apostolic nuncio; Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, a government official; and Fr. Jude Samantha, an official of the nunciature.

Archbishop Nguyen Van Tot was born in Vietnam in 1949, and was ordained a priest of the Phu Cuong diocese shortly before his 25th birthday.

He is an alumnus of the Pontifical Urban University, and published his thesis on “Buddha and Christ: Parallels and similarities in the canonical literature and Christian apocrypha” in 1987.

He was appointed nuncio to Benin and Togo in 2002, and was consecrated a bishop the following year.

Archbishop Nguyen Van Tot then served as apostolic nuncio to Chad and Central African Republic from 2005 to 2008, when he was transferred to Costa Rica. He served there until his current assignment.

In 2012, he wrote a letter to the Church in Costa Rica called “Sobre el recto desempeño del servicio pastoral,” or “On the right discharge of pastoral service,” which addressed the importance of the Eucharist and of its reverent distribution and reception.

His time in Africa and Central America, as well as that in his native Vietnam, has exposed him to war and to a variety of cultures.

Sri Lanka suffered a civil war for nearly 30 years, which ended only in 2009. Over 70 percent of the 20.4 million people in Sri Lanka are Buddhists, and Christians make up an estimated eight percent of the population.


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

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February 13, 2016

  • Saturday, February 13

    World Day of the Sick Mass, Mass and Anointing of the Sick, 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez presiding with other bishops and priests. Special section designated for those in wheelchairs with volunteers available to help. Limited parking available for $8. Carpooling is encouraged. For more info: Chuck Huebner at cjhuebner @gmail.com or Jim LoCoco at flavialococ0@msn.com.

     

     

    Bosco Tech’s Yurak Memorial Run & Kids’ Fun Run, Check in begins at 8 a.m., Memorial Run at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m., Bosco Tech, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. Race registration is $35 per person. For school groups of 10 or more, the cost is $30. To register online, go to www.boscotech.edu/events or www.yurak.eventbrite.com; same-day registration available at check-in table. Included: racing fees, finisher medal, goodie bag and BBQ lunch. Plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female runners and to the fastest runner under 18.All proceeds to benefit Bosco Tech’s Yurak Athletic Center (YAC). 

     

    Cabrini Literary Guild “Sweetheart Bingo” Meeting, Sat., Feb.13 at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale. Meeting starts at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. ($30/person), and bingo social at 1 p.m. Bingo cards are $5 each, or $20 for five cards. For reservations, call (818) 790-3485.

     

    Footprints: Making Tracks for Neighbors in Need, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Bishop Amat High School track, 14301 Fairgrove Ave., La Puente. Catholic Charities San Gabriel Region will present this annual walk/run fundraiser to increase awareness about poverty, hunger and homelessness in the San Gabriel Region. Proceeds benefit those lacking basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This is a come anytime, leave anytime event, with the first lap around the track to be led by Bishop David O'Connell. For more information, visit lentenfootprints.yolasite.com or contact Mary Romero at (213) 251-3582 or mromero@ccharities.org.

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