Canonical process of Servant of God Cardinal Cooray
Cardinal Cooray is the first Sinhalese for whom a cause for canonization was started.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has requested for information and personal experiences with Servant of God Thomas Cooray that could help in expediting his canonization.
The Cardinal requested that all information on the life and virtues of Cardinal Cooray be gathered and submitted to Episcopal Delegate Father Francis Nicholas Senanayak at the secretariat formed for his canonisation.
Thomas Cooray was born to a poor but religious family in Negombo in Sri Lanka’s Western Province. He was ordained priest in 1929 in the Congregation of Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
In 1940, during World War II, Archbishop Jean Marie Masson made a vow to build a shrine in Tewatta in honour of Our Lady if the country would be spared the ravages of war. It was left to Cooray to fulfil this vow and he built the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka.
He became the first local-born head of the church in 1947 as Archbishop of Colombo. During his tenure as Archbishop, he favoured a respectful dialogue with Buddhists and other Christian denominations.
In 1950, he founded a minor seminary, focusing his commitment on the missionary formation of young seminarians. Under his leadership the Church in Sri Lanka found ways to bring religious education to schools.
The Cardinal passed away in 1988 and his remains were buried in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, in the basilica built by him. Cardinal Cooray is the first Sinhalese for whom a cause for canonisation was started.
Source: The Messenger