RIP Archbishop Emeritus Oswald Thomas Colman Gomis - Emeritus Archbishop of Sri Lanka Dies at Age 90

Archbishop Emeritus Oswald Thomas Colman Gomis has died on February 3rd, 2023, at the age of 90. A former auxiliary bishop, he led the archdiocese of Sri Lanka’s capital from 2002 to 2009. After the attack of a church in Sri Lanka in December 2004, he led the Church's efforts to rebuild homes and provide livelihoods to survivors.
Asia News reports that the Archdiocese of Colombo is mourning the death of Archbishop Emeritus Oswald Thomas Colman Gomis who was called to eternal rest at the age of 90 early this morning. The prelate was ill and had been admitted to hospital in the capital.
Oswald Gomis was born on 12 December 1932 in Kelaniya, and raised in Colombo where he attended St Joseph's College.
He entered the seminary in 1950, studying first in Borella and then Kandy. He was ordained priest in St Lucia’s Cathedral, Kotahena, by the late Cardinal Thomas Cooray, archbishop of Colombo, on 3 February 1958, exactly 65 years ago.
At the age of 35, he was consecrated bishop on 17 July 1968 after Paul VI appointed him auxiliary bishop of Colombo.
In 1996 Pope John Paul II called him to lead the Diocese of Anuradhapura, in northern Sri Lanka, and in 2002, he replaced Mgr Nicholas Marcus Fernando as Archbishop of Colombo, becoming the third native Sri Lankan to head this See, which he held until 16 June 2009.
Gomis led the Church in Sri Lanka’s capital during the last phase of the country’s brutal civil war (1983-2009).
He also played an important role in December 2004 when the country was hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami, leading the Church’s efforts to build housing and provide livelihoods to survivors.
During his tenure, numerous schools and colleges were also built throughout the country as part of the Church’s outreach programme.
Archbishop Gomis was also a point of reference for other Churches in Asia. He served twice as secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) between 1996 and 2004.
He also chaired the FABC’s Commission for Social Communications and sat on the Board of Directors of Radio Veritas.
A great communicator, Archbishop Gomis wrote articles for local newspapers in Sinhala and English and published about 16 books for children and adults in both languages.
His remains will be on display until noon tomorrow at St Anne's Church in Kelaniya, his native village.
His last journey will take him to St Joseph Cathedral in Anuradhapura before returning to Colombo for the funeral at 3 pm next Monday at St Lucia’s Cathedral.
Edited from Asia News IT - Melani Manel Perera  and Fr Sunil de Silva
Image By Janaka Pradeep at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,