The Lord would have received him to the heavenly aboard with the words “Well done good and faithful servant. In small things you were faithful… Coma and enjoy the blessed happiness of our Kingdom” – His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.
Born to Don Christian Samarakoon and Dona Celestina Wijeyeratne on 1st August 1945 at Wahakotte young Raymond Samarakoon followed his priestly formation both in St. Aloysius’ Minor Seminary and the National Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka, Ampitiya; he was ordained to the priesthood on the 25th of January 1972 - 51 years ago. He served as an Asst. Parish Priest in the parishes of Moratuwa and Tudella and as a Parish Priest in the parishes of Kadawatha, Panadura, Ratmalana, Bolawalana, Dehiwala, Enderamulla, and Nugegoda. He was away for studies in the Philippines and the United Kingdom. From 1982 – 1987 he served as the Secretary to the Late Archbishop Nicholas Marcus Fernando. He also served as the Deputy Rector and the Course Director of the Department of Hospitality Management for over 20 years at Aquinas College, Borella.
His Eminence during his introduction said Fr. Raymond was known as an open-minded, friendly, simple, and kind-hearted person and a person who will inspire confidence in the other priests. As a senior priest, he saw the needs of many others sacrificing himself generously. He concluded by giving thanks to the Lord for the beautiful vocation that He gave Fr. Raymond which he conserved right up to the end of his life.
Rev. Fr. Ivan Perera - Emeritus National Director of Catholic Education during his homily stated that Fr. Raymond was good, pleasant, genuine, and a godly man throughout his life and also a very good administrator where his attire was neat as his room. He was a person who knew his limits and respected confidentiality which made the Late Archbishop Nicholas Marcus Fernando pick him to be his secretary especially because of his ability to keep documentation in a well orderly manner stated Fr. Ivan recalling the memories of this humble priest wishing that he would be welcomed to his eternal reward.
He was buried at the Borella general cemetery side of the chapel.
May he rest in peace.
Photos by Akila Peiris
Report by Waruni Ranasinghe
Media Unit, Aquinas College