A Special Memorial Mass was conducted at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on 26 April by the Sydney Archdiocese, in collaboration with Sri Lanka NSW Catholic Association, presided by Archbishop of Sydney Dr. Anthony Fisher, in memory of the deceased and to bless the injured in the wake of Easter Sunday explosions in Sri Lanka. Bishops from several denominations together, with Father Chaminda Wanigasena, Chaplain of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church, assisted. Blessings were made and hymns were sung in Sinhala, Tamil, and English. Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, Immigration Minister David Coleman, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Labour Party Tanya Plibersek, State Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope, NSW Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans John Sidoti and Members of Parliament joined the gathering with Government officials, Consular Corps, the Sri Lankan community, Australians and other nationals, packing the enormous Cathedral.
The large crowd gathered in the forecourt of the Cathedral after Mass at the invitation of the Consulate General. They held lighted candles in hand, making silent prayers. Archbishop of Sydney Dr. Anthony Fisher, addressing the gathering, stated that “Violence through suicide bombing does not make a martyr.” The Archbishop extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and wished Sri Lanka would heal wounds quickly and further requested to convey the blessings of all who prayed at the Cathedral to the people of Sri Lanka, standing in solidarity with Sri Lanka.
Consul General Lal Wickrematunge, in his remarks, stated that Sri Lanka would not bow down to terror and would build up a Sri Lankan identity binding the different ethnic communities and those of diverse religious beliefs together. Sri Lanka has been through many a hurdle and will overcome this too with love and compassion. The underlying theme of this silent vigil was solidarity and unity in the face of adversity.