December 16, 2002
BY FAX:(011)(39 6) 69.88.01.18
Most Reverend Don Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige
Archbishop Emeritus of Ratnapura
President, Pontifical Missionary Works
Palazzo di Propaganda Fide
Piazza di Spagna, 48
Dear Archbishop Ranjith,
Greetings in the Lord, in the name of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
I am aware that the people of your homeland, Sri Lanka, will shortly be celebrating the first anniversary of the cease-fire last December 25th that brought the promise of true peace for the Sri Lankan people. It is also my understanding that Your Excellency may be celebrating Mass with the Holy Father in commemoration of the anniversary, together with members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka.
This is an occasion for rejoicing, indeed. I wish to salute you and your brothers in the Catholic Bishops Conference for the pastoral accompaniment that the Church continues to provide in the search for a true, just, and lasting peace for all the people of Sri Lanka.
With all best wishes and assurance of our prayers, I am
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Bishop of Belleville