New Delhi: It’s been two weeks since Sri Lanka witnessed a bloody Easter Sunday on April 21 that killed nearly 263 people- that Catholics of the island nation again observed Mass on Sunday from confines of their homes.

The churches remained shut in Sri Lanka for a consecutive second Sunday on May 5 in wake of the recent deadly eight suicide bombings that ripped through three cities, including capital Colombo on Easter.

Sri Lankan Catholics observed Mass in their homes on their televisions, as offered by Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo from his residence- which was attended mostly by priests and nuns.

A letter from Pope Francis addressed to him was read out at the end of the service in which the pontiff said he prayed that “hearts hardened by hatred may yield to His will for peace and reconciliation among all his children.”

At St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, one of the sites targeted by Easter suicide bombings that killed 263 people, a Mass was celebrated for a small group of children and youth as a means for inner healing. Almost all churches remained closed with armed soldiers and police guarding them.

Authorities cancelled Sunday services after reports emerged that a Catholic church and lay institution could be targeted this weekend.

Catholic schools have also been closed until further notice.

However, all government schools are to reopen Monday for grade 6 and up. Police have announced they will search the premises of all schools on Sunday.

 

With PTI inputs