|Rev. Fr. Tissa Balasuriya OMI, was called to Eternal Rest in the Lord on 17th January 2013, in a private hospital at the age of 88.
His mortal remains lie at the Centre for Society and Religion, at the Fatima Church premises, Maradana, Colombo 10.
Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday 19th January 2013 at 2.30 pm at the Fatima Church, Maradana and the burial at the General Cemetery, Borella.
Rev. Fr. Tissa Balasuriya OMI, was born on August 29, 1924 at Kahatagasdigiliya and his parents William and Victoria, were from Andiambalama in the Negombo . He was first educated at Maris Stella College, Negombo before making his way to Jaffna where he studied at St. Patrick’s College.
He completed his secondary education at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo from where he entered the University of Ceylon at the age of 17. Graduating in Economics in 1945 and winning the prestigious Khan Gold Medal, he entered the Novitiate of the Oblate Congregation the same year and was ordained a priest in the Oblates’ Congregation in Rome in 1949.
The two pillars of Fr. Tissa’s life have, of course, been the Aquinas University College and the Centre for Society and Religion. At the age of 29, he was appointed Registrar to Fr. Peter Pillai at this former institution and became Rector on his death in 1964. As Rector, he broadened the scope of the curriculum and introduced courses in technology, business, law and agriculture. Many future politicians and journalists who studied at Aquinas during this period.
Society and Religion or Religion in Society have therefore been Fr. Tissa’s abiding concerns. Here he exemplified a growing movement among the Catholic churches of the Third World to relate the teachings of Christ to the realities of life in the poorer parts of the world.