Sun, 22 May 2022 Today's Paper

Rev. Fr Ernest Poruthota Turns 88: He Has Done a Beautiful Thing for us

31 August 2019 12:22 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

A great risk taker, his usual nature is to invite others to do the same. The one who takes no risks does not mature sufficiently. Real spiritual growth is in risk –taking

 Fr Ernest Poruthota

 

30th August 1931 and Recent History

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… Then God said, “Let us make Ernest Poruthota in our image and after our likeness…” and God saw what he had made and behold, he was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, August 30, 1931.   
The meaning of life is in meeting and learning from those we meet. All meeting is metaphysical mating. All kinds of people cross one’s path in one’s life time. While small people make other people small, great and magnanimous people make others truly great and magnanimous. When we bring the best out of other people, we also bring the best out of ourselves. One’s best always brings out the best in others and likewise one’s worst could provoke worst in others. Whatever we withhold from others, we also withhold it from ourselves. Whatever we truly give, we also receive thirtyfold, sixtyfold and a hundredfold.In the final analysis, giving and receiving become the same process. One’s anonymity in helping others is the real magnanimity.   

My Personal Encounter with Him

Father Raymond Ernest Alexander Poruthota who celebrates his 88th birthday on August 30th (he was born on August 30, 1931 ). I have known him since 1974. During his tenure as our parish priest, I was an altar boy at Saint Sebastian’s Church in Kalamulla, Kalutara. He showed us boys that we were capable of achieving more than we ever think of. Ambitions are never meant for one’s personal glory, but must always be directed towards greater and greater service. Coming to know him and learning from him was a turning point in my life and friendship with him has tremendously contributed to my personal synthesis. True friendship is friendship that educates. Being with him is like undergoinga tough training at a university.  As our parish priest he was positively demanding, orderly, methodical, proverbially punctual,straightforward, unassuming, honest, hard working, multi tasking and brilliantly focused. He means what he says. He is bold, swift, audacious, tough and quick-witted in a very constructive manner. What you see in him is what you get. What is deeply within him radiates without. He is a man of integrity, originality and authenticity.   
It was Father Poruthota who gave me my very first character certificate when I got a scholarship to Royal College in Colombo in 1977. I was 10 years old then and I still vividly remember that moment when I went to see him with my grandmother on a 
Sunday afternoon.   

Poruthotanisation of our Parish

If I may not embarrass him greatly, his was the golden era of our parish. Shall I say that Kalamulla Parish is not the same again once it has been poruthotanised. We, who had known him and worked with him, all had been irrevocably and irresistibly poruthotanised in one way or another. Although some people “welcomed” him with the graffiti on walls “ Viplawakarayawa Apata Epa ”, (“We do not need the revolutionary”) when he first came to our parish.   
I am sure that they have reversed their judgment about him by now. His heart is larger than his body and to the best of my knowledge he bears no grudges towards those who opposed him. He has a clean heart, a heart that does not envy other people’s achievements and talents. To appreciate others, he must possess a very healthy image of himself. Emotionally healthy people do not envy others. It takes a lot of humility to rejoice in and appreciate other people’s achievements. There is no malice in his heart and that I know it in my heart of hearts.   
To appreciate others is to radiate one’s spiritual magnanimity and generosity. To say best things about those who say worst things about you is the one single spectacular quality of a magnanimous soul. By bringing the best out of other people, he has also brought the best out of himself. Father Poruthota has encouraged people from all walks of life and with all kinds of talents to strive towards whatever meaningful goals they want to achieve.   
When I was a student, I used to go to Katukurunda Railway station to catch the 5.00 a.m. train to Colombo and then I could see the light from his office room and hear him typing busily. I had observed it again and again every morning for five years (1977- 1981). Fidelity is the stability of one’s heart, firmness of one’s resolutions and the strength of one’s faith. Routine is never boring if it is done out of service. Routine is ever exciting if it is done out of compassion. There is edification in his commitment to his routine of service. He could perform his routine of duties without ever complaining or fussing over them. His commitment to his priesthood and priestly duties make me truly tremble. Disciplined life is always life-giving.   

 

"He means what he says. He is bold, swift, audacious, tough and quick-witted in a very constructive manner. What you see in him is what you get"

 

Ongoing Learnings and Personal Inspirations

I have learnt more from “Daham Pasala” (Sunday School), boys’ scout group, the picnics and seminars he used to organize than from any other activities. They were much more educational and pedagogical than any formal schooling. Those were the best years of my life and I will take the memory of them to my grave.   
I still treasure a postcard he sent to me whenI was studying in the Philippines and it runs like this, “Do not look back till you reach the very top”. A great part of his apostolate has been one of pushing people, gently coercing and encouraging people for greater achievements and ambitions.Father Poruthota is razor sharp in spotting, detecting, recognizing and sensing people’s innate potentials, specially young people’s rare abilities.These are not popular virtues nowadays. In every field in Sri Lanka there is a person who may have received some encouragement from him and this is especially prominent in mass media.   
As he is a great risk taker, his usual nature is also to invite others to do the same. The one who takes no risks does not mature sufficiently. Real spiritual growth is in risk –taking. The more risks we take, the greater our spiritual growth as human beings. A heart that encourages is a magnanimous heart, a heart that truly appreciates is a pureheart, a generous heart, a sacred heart. Only such people can enter the kingdom of God. Blessed are they who know how to appreciate. We serve as good as we appreciate and encourage. To appreciate people is to give glory to their Maker and Creator. Living a spiritual life is its own reward. There is no need to ask for anything else from God.   

The Encourager Par Excellence

Encouragement is the highest form of appreciation. In what sense is this true? The one who encourages appreciates and admires in advance. Only a courageous person can become an encourager. The courage he showed in many critical situations has proved this point abundantly.   
When I returned to Sri Lanka recently after 20 years of absence he was one of the first few persons to phone me and ask about my future plans. That simply shows the quality of his generous character. A man’s character is in his conduct. Conduct reveals one’s character and character guides one’s conduct.   
This nation is perishing without people like Father Ernest Poruthota. This nation cannot prosper unless we have people like him. This Father Poruthota., this magnanimous disciple of Christ, this larger than life priest, this old lion, this swift eagle, this seasoned warrior, this battle-scarred Knight, this great risk-taker, this excellent Catholic, this fine man, this great Sri Lankan, this great patron of artists and intellectuals, this friend of all religious communities, this admirer of Lord Buddha, this brave soul has a very rare and spectacular character trait and our leaders can learn much from him. This nation really has no future unless we learn to appreciate an appreciator like Father Poruthota. The cultured and cultivated habit of encouraging and appreciating others can save a whole civilization, an entire nation. The one who helps others to become successful must truly have a saintly soul, a saintly disposition. True leadership stems fromone’s own innermost integrity. To be authoritative without ever becoming authoritarian is the greatest challenge for every good leader today.   

The Uniqueness of Fr. Poruthota

Among other things, Father Poruthota is also a man of profound faith. A true Catholic is someone who has a universal vision, a panoramic view about life, human potential and inter human relationships. A Catholic tries to protect, nurture, culture and cherish whatever is beautiful, life-giving, true, good and original in others. A good Catholic is always a blessing to humanity, never a burden. A Catholic sees beyond the surface of things and sharply penetrates into the deepest core of things. A Catholic has a comprehensive grasp of complete reality. It is wonderful to have been born into this world and it is even more wonderful to have known him and learnt from him. May Father Poruthota continue to become a blessing to all Sri Lankans. May he continue to inspire and influence more and more people and in return may more and more people continue to appreciate this Appreciator Par Excellence. May God continue to bless him more and more. May this nation be blessed with more and more people like Father Poruthota and may he continue to become a catalyst for national unity.   

Ad Multos Annos, Padre.   

Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.

  Comments - 0

Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.


Continuing economic crisis in Sri Lanka and its far-reaching repercussions for women and girls

Soap, milk, and wheat are just a few of the necessities that are scarce in Sr

What’s next for the Sri Lankan Economy?

Monday’s briefing by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was a rude awakeni

Who do we subsidize through fuel subsidies?

The economic crisis, the outcome of months of mismanagement by the Gotabaya R

“The interim government should operate for one year”- Champika Ranawaka

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Patali Champika Ranawaka in an interview with