We are grieving for our long-time partner and friend, Father Tissa Balasuriya OMI, who died on 01/17/2013 at the age of 89 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Not only has Sri Lanka lost one of his biggest and best-known theologians of the 20th Century, whose effort was to put into theory and practice, the suggestions of the Second Vatican Council. His theology was deeply grounded in his commitment to the poor and disenfranchised, and by his commitment to women's rights. Father Tissa was the founder of the Centre for Society and Religion in Sri Lanka. He was a pioneer of Asian theology, which did not get lost in theoretical speculations, but which arose from the deep dedication to the society and the struggle for justice and peace. Born into a wealthy family, he bequeathed his order a 32-acre piece of land on which he established a retreat house for religious exercises and a training center for street children. For him, education was the key to social justice and a "better life" for the poor. It was a deep joy and honor for the Institute of Missiology to have known Father Tissa as a friend and as a project partner.
"I celebrated my golden jubilee of my priesterhood with a three-day pilgrimage by foot with my former parish and with a High Mass. I look back with gratitude, praying for the MWI scholarship holders and their way with their communities. In favor of a donation for thescholarship holders I dispensed with gifts in order to express my spiritual and material solidarity with still emerging church in the south."
Pastor Günther Ludwig