About SSPX Sri Lanka

Back in 1984 five members of the Franciscan Third Order read an article on Archbishop Lefebvre and the Traditional Latin Mass. They decided to write to the Archbishop in Econe, Switzerland, and ask if he would agree to send a priest to give them the Mass of all times.

The Archbishop replied that if a good number of people were interested, he would send a priest.

These Third Order members managed to find 85 faithful interested in having the Latin Mass and got permission from Archbishop Nicholas Markus, from Colombo, to get the Latin Mass to Sri Lanka. They sent the letter to Archbishop Lefebvre who agreed to send a priest in the person of Father Patrice Laroche (a Frenchman) in 1985. From then on, a priest came from Europe on a regular basis, even the then Fr. Bernard Fellay who in 1988 was ordained a bishop by Archbishop Lefebvre and is currently the Superior General of the SSPX.

In the early 1990’s, a priest (mainly Fr de Merode) would come from the Philippines once a month and say Mass in Negombo in a private home. Due to the increase in number, the Society of saint Pius X decided to open a priory with two resident priests, Fr. Arnaud Rostand and Fr. Luc Davodeau in Kurana (Negombo) in 1995. 


1984, August 19. Fr Patrice Laroche, the SSPX Asian explorer, offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the first time in what would become the Sri Lankan mission of the SSPX.

1985 – The St Francis Xavier Mission was formed under the auspices of the SSPX. The main goal being to provide to the faithful asking for it the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in its Traditional Latin Tridentine rite. The faithful, longing for the traditional Latin Mass, namely; Dr. Don William, Mr. Shelton Wijesinghe, Dr. Hector Fernando and Mr. Austin Fernando, were the pioneer members. They requested Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for the facility of a mission of this nature. For this mission Rev. Fr. Patrice Laroche continued to visit Sri Lanka from time to time. He was provided residential facilities at Mr. Cyril Fernando’s home.

Until 1992, various SSPX priests, Fathers Fellay, Schmidberger, Simonot, and a few others stopped on occasion in Sri Lanka on their way to or from India (where the first SSPX priory was opened in 1986).

In 1992 with the opening of the priory in the Philippines, and due to difficulties in obtaining Indian visas, the Colombo Mission was attached to the Philippine priory. This was unfortunate because while the flight Colombo—Manila takes at least 8-9 hours as there are no direct flight, Colombo—Trivandrum (South India)on the other hand, takes only one hour! The regular priest visiting the mission was at that time Fr. Roland de Merode, followed by Fr. Rostand.

1995, August 15. The St Francis Xavier Mission was officially opened with two resident priests, Frs. Arnaud Rostand and Luc Davodeau. The formation of the Association of Saint Joseph was made through the Registration according to the Registration Act. The premises situated at No. 525, Colombo Road, Kurana, Negombo had been acquired soon before.

1997 – Catechism classes were held every Wednesday and Thursday in providing spiritual directions of the faith. Choir practices were held every Sunday so that the faithful were aware of the applicable Hymns and chants at the rituals of the Holy Mass. A total number of 28 candidates were enrolled towards this.

Needle work and sewing classes were conducted to help those who were interested and posses an aptitude and desire in sewing and manufacture of garments\wearing apparel.

1998 – A Montessori and Pre-School were established. In December 2011 the Montessori and Pre-School was

closed down due primarily due to the lack of admissions and in sufficient funds to sustain this project.

2005 – The St Francis Xavier Mission was able to help in two big relief projects after the terrible 2004 Tsunami and under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Rozairo, the then Parish Priest of Saint Sebastian’s Church, Sea Street, Negombo. The first project was for the building of 42 homes, across from the cemetery near St Sebastian church, and the other was for the building of 19 houses at what is now called “Maria Sevena”.

Also in the same year, the Pictorial Sinhala Catechism Books were printed for sale and distribution to enhance the knowledge in the religious education of all Roman Catholics. The book has been highly recommended by His Eminence, Cardinal Ranjith.

2015 – The Priory reopens with two resident priests and one brother. Given the proximity with Colombo airport, the priests take care of the apostolate in Bombay/Goa and Chennai, as well as in the Emirates.

Also in the same year, the Pictorial Sinhala Catechism Books were printed for sale and distribution to enhance the knowledge in the religious education of all Roman Catholics. The book has been highly recommended by His Eminence, Cardinal Ranjith.

The Mass Centre in Sri Lanka
Saint Francis Xavier Mission,
525, Colombo Road,
Kurana, Negombo.

Telephone No. +94  031 223 8352

Mass Time – Every Sunday at 9.00am preceded by the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 8.30 am. Every day, usually at 5:30pm. Benediction on Thursdays before Mass.