|Rita Perera | Archdiocese of Colombo image|
Rita Perera, Foundress of Marc-Sri Home, was called to eternal rest in the Lord on 27th, May 2015. Funeral was held on Thursday, 28th May at Marc-Sri Home, Katukurunda, Kalutara (Sri Lanka).
Founder of Marc-Sri, Rita Perera, 73, better known as “Sister Rita”, was a religious sister, but during the 1960’s she was forced to revoke her vows due to serious health reasons. She later married Marcus Perera and the couple built their house in Kalutara, which they called “Marc-Sri”. They lived a happy life, until Marcus died in 1982.
Ms. Rita Perera, who founded Marc-Sri 30 years ago in 1983, said she never planned her home to be turned into a shelter for orphans and the homeless.
"After my husband passed away in 1982, I was living in this house by myself,” she reminisced. “One day a man with a broken back appeared at my doorstep. He could not walk and had no place to go. Ever since then this place has become a home for the elderly, the sick and disabled orphans.”
She added that in the early days she made huts with coconut branches to house those whom came to her and took care of them by herself. Then gradually a few humanitarians like herself started helping out at the shelter. Eventually, those who were taken care of by Rita grew up to volunteer at Marc-Sri. Now there are about 40 volunteers, most of whom had lived at Marc-Sri for 15-20 years and had grown up under the loving care of Rita.
Since that fateful day in 1983, Rita has never taken a break from her humanitarian efforts.—Fr. Sunil de Silva.
"Marc Sri was started without a plan. I never imagined myself being a mother to so many children,” she said once. “Now we are all a family and this a place filled with love and kindness.”—ibid.
Heavenly Father, Your child Rita Perera of Sri Lanka gave excellent witness to Your love of the sick and orphaned. To the glory of Your name, O Lord, Rita gave shelter to the homeless and comfort to the suffering. May it be Your will, merciful Father, that through her intercession Thomas Peters, who suffered serious injury, may be restored to health so that his healing may offer further testimony to Your love and mercy. I/We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.