Reverend Father Vincent Jeyarasa Anthony
NOTE: Father Vincent has been recalled to Sri Lanka by Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando, Bishop of the Chilaw Diocese, Sri Lanka, and will be leaving us November 21, 2005. We pray Bishop Fernando will allow Father to return in the near future and we thank Father Vincent for the many things he has done for the St. John's Parish.
Father Vincent was born April 17, 1949 on the small tropical island of Sri Lanka which is located just off the tip of southeastern India in the Indian Ocean. He was ordained in 1982 by Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando, the then and present Bishop of the Chilaw Diocese.
Father Vincent Jeyarasa Anthony
Father served 2 years in Chilaw, Sri Lanka and then 18 years (6 years each) in various Sri Lankan Parishes before retiring. He then came to the United states on a sabbatical given those in his country who have served more than 20 years, first to Tulsa’s Church of the Madeline in April, 2003 and then in September 2003 he came to Stillwater to serve the Parishes of St. John and St. Francis as well as St. John the Evangelist in Pawnee.
He became familiar with Oklahoma through a priest from Sri Lanka who was in Stillwater in 2002, Father Peter Perera who returned to Sri Lanka to work in the interior of the country and said that "coming to Stillwater, I came to know what is snow," in a January interview published in the Cushing Newspaper among others, and also admitted that he finds it difficult to stay warm in Oklahoma, a climate much colder than the tropical one of his home country although I doubt he is often cold during the summers at St. Johns!
After the Southeast Asia earthquake and tsunami of December 26, 2004, it took some time before Father could contact family there but he did contact a brother in Canada who had reached Sri Lankan friends near their family home and found out his family was safe and had moved inland from the peninsula near the Gulf of Mannar on Sri Lanka's west coast, to near Puttalam, a city of more than 1 million. His mother, who is old and cannot walk, had been taken with a brother and three sisters to stay with a niece there.