30th March 2014
Inauguration of the Benedictine Mission in the Parish of Ampara
14th of August 1845
Fr. Joseph Bravi, the first Sylvestrine, arrives in Sri Lanka.
27th of November 1847
Fr. Emilian Miliani, second Sylvesyrine, arrives in Sri Lanka
21st of April 1849
Fr. Joseph Baravi is appointed Titular Bishop of Tipasa and Coadjutor of the Vicar Apostolic Mgr. Gaetano Antonio
13th January 1850
Mgr. Joseph Maria Bravi OSB is consecrated as bishop by the hands of Mgr. Gaetano Antonio at St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Kotahena
March 1850
Fr. Leo Cingolani, the third Sylvestrine, arrives in Sri Lanka
26th of July 1851
Fr. Augustine Manzoni, the fourth Sylvestrine, arrives in Sri Lanka
The church dedicated to St. Thomas at Kotte is built by Abbot Leo Cingolani and was blessed by Vicar Apostolic Mgr. Gaetano Antonio in 1855.
12th of May 1856
The General Chapter of the Sylvestrine Congregation accepts responsibility for the care of the whole southern vicariate
Two secular priests C. J. B. Fernando and John Vistarini become Sylvestrine Tertiaries. Fr. Fernando was the first Lankan man to be ordained priest after his training at propaganda College in Rome. He followed Mgr. Pagnani to Kandy and in his later year joined the Sylvestrine Congregation as a professed monk and died in 1902 at77 years of age. Fr. Vistarini opted to be transferred from the Vicariate of Jaffana to Colombo for his desire to become a Sylvestrine Tertiary. He died in 1905
27th of January 1857
Mgr. Bravi becomes Vicar Apostolic of Colombo
6th February 1858
The Procurator General of the Congregation Fr. HilarionSillani arrives in colombo later to be elevated as the Prelate in charge of the southern vicariate.
Hildebrand Vanderstraaten and Lanfranc Assaw become the first two Ceylonese to join the Sylvestrine Congregation and they go to Italy for their training. Both will return as Priests. Hildebrand Vanderstraaten and Lanfranc Assaw cooperated in building up the ‘Benedictine Mission’. Vanderstraaten was a very promising young monk: After completing his studies in Rome he was appointed for a while Principal of St. Benedict’s College in Colombo; a few years later Principal of St. Anthony’s in Kandy and Novice Master. Mgr. Sillani presented him as candidate to Coadjutorship of Colombo. He died at age of 36 in 1879. Lanfranc Assaw served in many missions: while in Wahacotte he established the oblates of St. Sylvester. He was also superior of the Benedictine monastery in Kandy.
15th of August 1860
Mgr. Bravi dies at the Red Sea.
Fr. Clement Pagnani OSB arrives in Colombo
St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena was founded
6th of September 1863
Fr. Hilarion Sillani is appointed Titular Bishop of Callinico and Vicar Apostolic of Colombo.
27th December 1863
Consecration of Mgr. Sillani by Mgr. Valerga at Kottar, South India
10th January 1864
Mgr. Sillani takes possession of the Vicariate
St. Joseph’s Church, Pamunugama is built by Fr. Sylvester Papili OSB. He spread in the Island the devotion to the Most Sacred Blood of Jesus.
11th of February 1869
The first issue of the “Ceylon Catholic Messenger” is published
St. Mary’s Church in Grand Street was built by Fr. John Vistarini OSB. Fr. Vistarini was a secular priest and later opted to be transferred from the Vicariate of Jaffana to Colombo for his desire to become a Sylvestrine Tertiary. He died in 1905
1873 St. James Church Mutuwal was built by the Sylvestrine Tertiary Fr. Peter Ilari OSB and completed in 1873. Its design was sent by Abbot Leo Corneli from Rome.
2nd October 1872
Foundation stone for a new Church dedicated to Bl. John of the Staff at Talangama. Palawatta was laid by Mgr. Hilarian Sillani OSB and was built by Fr. E. Miliani OSB the second Sylvestrine to come to Sri Lanka. Mgr. Sillani OSB obtained a special indult from Rome to legalise the public cult of Bl. John.
30th November 1873
Permission granted to build a new monastery in Kandy by the Holy See
30th December 1874
St. Anthony’s monastery in Kandy is solemnly blessed by the Vicar Apostolic of the Southern Vicariate Mgr. HilarionSillani OSB. It became the first Benedictine monastery in the East after the crusades for the next 700 years. The foundation stone for the same was laid on 03.10.1873 on the feast of St. Placid by Abbot Leo Cingolani OSB
The administration of St. Anthony’s College, Kandy is handed over to the monks. Fr. D. Hildebrand Vanderstraaten OSB is installed as the 1st OSB Rector of the College.
1st of January 1875
The first batch of novices are clothed for the new monastery
6th of January 1875
The Papal enclosure is installed in the Kandy monastery.
4th of April 1875
Most Rev. Leo Cingolani OSB is blessed as the first titular abbot of St. Anthony’s Monastery, Kandy. He becomes the first in the line of three abbots Sri Lanka was proud to have.
15th of December 1876
The abbatial church of St. Anthony’s Monastery in Kandy is blessed by Mgr. Hilarian Sillani OSB. The foundation stone for the same was laid on 13.06.1875 by Abbot Leo Cingolani OSB
27th of March 1879
Mgr. H. Sillani dies in Rome.
9th of September 1879
Fr. Clement Pagnani is appointed Titular Bishop of Haephesturn and Vicar Apostolic of Colombo
25th December 1879
Consecration of Bishop Pagnani OSB in Trichinopoly
30th December 1879
Bishop Pagnani takes possession of the Vicariate of Colombo
18th January 1870
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Galle which was built by Fr. Benito Martin OSB is blessed by Most. Rev. Dr. Hillarian Sillani OSB, Vicar Apostolic of the Southern Vicatiate. The foundation of this church were laid by the second Sylvestrine to come to Sri Lanka, Fr. E. Miliani OSB.
5th of August 1881
St. Lucia’s Cathedral is blessed by Bishop Pagnani. Sillani’s dream had begun on the 18th of August 1873 under the directions of Fr. S. Tabarrani and later by Fr. B. Baldoni.
27th of March 1883
Mgr. C. Pagnani gives up two provinces of hic vicariate and requests propaganda to establish a new vicariate in the central province of Kandy.
16th of August 1883
Mgr. C. Pagnani leaves Colombo to take charge of the new vicariate of Kandy.
17th of August 1883
Mgr. Pagnani takes possession of the new Vicariate
6th of January 1887
Mgr. Pagnani becomes the first residential Bishop of the Kandy diocese.
Bro. Bede Beekmeyer enters the Monastery and was later ordained priest at. St. Anthony’s Cathedral on 24th June 1899.
10th August 1899
Death of Abbot Giacomo Leo Cingolani OSB at Loretto and buried there. He became the first titular abbot of St. Anthony’s Monastery in Kandy.
Mgr. Pagnani is elected Titular Abbot of St. Anthony’s Abbey.
Fr. Bernard Regno arrives in Colombo and was later ordained on 18th December 1909
8th May 1908
Augustine Pancrazi is nominated as the second Abbot of St. Anthony’s Abbey
27th of June 1911
Mgr. Clement Pagnani dies.
1st of April 1912
Mgr. Bede Beekmeyer is elected Bishop of Kandy. The first Sri Lankan to be raised to this rank
30th of June 1912
Mgr. Bede Beekmeyer OSB is consecrated as the bishop of Kandy. His name is added to the history of the Catholic Church in Sri Lana as the first Sri Lankan to be raised to the episcopate
22nd of May 1922
Abbot Augustine Pancrazi dies.
25th November 1927
Yatawara Walauwa purchased and restructured by the Monks and blessed by Very. Rev. Fr. Bonfilius Galassi OSB ,the Prior Major.
26th of November 1927
The Sylvestrine novitiate and scholasticate are shifted to Montefano, Ampitiya.
Fr. Hildebrand Van Reyk OSB appointed as Prior Major
Fr. Bernard Regno is appointed the Prior Major
22nd of May 1935
Mgr. Bede Beekmeyer dies.
29st of March 1936
Mgr. Bernard Regno is consecrated Bishop of Kandy.
6th of November 1939
The blessing of the first Sri Lankan Abbot, Anselm Weerasinghe
1st November 1940
Beginning of St. Sylvester’s College in Kandy. Fr. Robert Perera OSB became the first principle. The college owed its inception to the foresight of his Lordship Bishop Bernardo Regno O.S.B. and Abbot Weerasinghe OSB, the heads of the Sylvestro-Benedictine congregation
23rd December 1942
Bro Leo Nanayakkara makes his monastic profession and was ordained on 10th November 1950
Early 1950’s
St. Mary’s Church which would later become the Cathedral of the diocese of Badulla is built by Rev. Fr. Peter Farina OSB
3rd of October 1959
Mgr. Leo Nayakkara is consecrated Bishop of Kandy after the resignation of Mgr. Bernard Regno.
October 1961
The Adisham bungalow is bought by the monks from the Sedawatte Estates Ltd. Mrs. Rukmini Gitanjali Beligammana and director Don Lionel Amarasekara signs the deeds with the Superior Major Rev. Fr. Simon Tonini OSB. The monks came to reside in the house in December 1961.
8th of December 1962
The Novitiate is transferred to Adisham and is dedicated to St. Benedict. The new Benedictine monastery and the novitiate is blessed by Very Rev. Fr. Aidan de Silva OSB. Rev. Fr. D. Lawrence Hyde OSB was installed as the superior of the house, Rev. Fr. D. Bede Amarasinghe OSB as the novice master and Rev. Fr. D. Amedeo Visintainer as the bursar of the house.
27th November 1963
An agreement was signed by then Bishop of Kandy Mgr. Leo Nanayakkara OSB and the Abbot General of the Congregation Rt. Rev. Leo Cornelli OSB, approved by the prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fidei (on 15th December 1962), granting the parish of Wahacotte to the Sylvestro Benedictine Congregation in lieu of the Abbey church of St. Anthony in Kandy, constituting it a Religious Parish with “full and comprehensive meaning of the term”.
6th of February 1967
Very Rev. Fr. Ildephonsus Robinson is elected Superior Major
February 1973
Mgr. Leo Nanayakkara is transferred to the new diocese of Badulla. The Sylvestrines give up the administration of the Kandy diocese
13th of February 1973
Very Rev. Fr. Theophane Wickramaratne is elected Superior Major.
May 1974
The monks take over the administration of the Sacred Heart Church Rajagiriya. The first Benedictine Parish Priest who assumed duties at Sacred Heart Church, Rajagiriya was Rev. Fr. Bonifilias OSB.
27th of February 1976
Very Rev. Fr. Thomas De Zilva is elected Superior Major
22nd of August 1977
Mgr. Bernard Regno dies
16th of April 1982
Very Rev. Fr. Thomas De Zilva is re-elected Superior Major.
28th of May 1982
Bishop Leo Nanayakkara dies
18th May 1983
The erection of the Conventual Priory of St. Sylvester at Ampitiya, Kandy
7th of February 1985
Very Rev. Fr. Thomas De Zilva is elected first Conventual Prior
17th August 1985
The newly built Church of the Sacred Heart at Rajagiriya was ceremonially blessed by Most Rev. Dr. Nicholas Marcus Fernando, Archbishop of Colombo. It was built by Fr. Bruno Daniel OSB.
16th of November 1989
Very Rev. Anselm Fonseka is elected Conventual Prior
16th of August 1995
The 150th Anniversary of our presence in the Island is celebrated in grand scale at St. Anthony’s Cathedral in Kandy in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, many bishops, priests and Religious.
14th January 1996
Rt. Rev. Andrea Pantooni OSB is blessed as the Abbot General at St. Anthony’s Cathedral Kandy by Bishop Vianney Fernando, the Bishop of Kandy in the presence of the Bishop of Badulla Mgr. Edmund Fernando OMI and the Bishop of Galle Mgr. Elmo Perera.
25 Years of Service at the Sacred Heart Parish in Rajagiriya
25th of April 2002
Very Rev. Fr. Cletus Perera is elected Coventual Prior
Sesquicentennial of St. Anthony’s College, Kandy
775 anniversary of the Foundation of the Congregation
28th of July 2007
Very Rev. Fr. Cletus Perera is installed as Bishop of Ratnapura
29th January 2007
The inauguration of St. Benedict’s College, Kandy by the Conventual Prior Very. Rev. Fr. Cletus Chandrasiri Perera OSB at the Maryon Hill building at Siyambalagasthenna Rd, Katugastota. Rev. Fr.Clement Gnanapragasam is inducted as the first Rector of the College.
75th Anniversary of the Church of St. Anthony in Thoduwawa is celebrated by the monks and the faithful
12th of December 2007
Very Rev. Fr. Leonard Ranasinghe is elected as Conventual Prior
19th July 2012
The Golden Jubilee of our Novitiate at Adisham, Haputale
21st of April 2013
Very Rev. Fr. Leonard Ranasinghe OSB, the Prior Major passes away from this life to eternal life due to a tragic accident
16th June 2013
Triple Jubilee of St. Anthony’s National Shrine, Wahacotte
29th June 2013
Diamond Jubilee of the Sacred Heart Church, Katugastota
21st of November 2013
Very Rev. Fr. Shamindra Jayawardena OSB is elected as Conventual prior