St. Joseph's College is, by popular acknowledgement, Sri Lanka's leading Roman Catholic School for boys. Effectively unchallenged, it has occupied this position ever since it was founded in 1896. Over the years, the College has seen many changes Like all enduring institutions, it has often been obliged to adapt to the needs and constraints of the historical movement. Yet, in spite of inevitable changes, St. Joseph's has never deviated from its principal goal of producing men of faith, knowledge and virtue whose loved ones, fellow workers and society at large may safely rely upon, and, from whose labour and advice they may continue to benefit as they have already done for well over a century.
Religious Activities of St. Joseph's College
St. Joseph's College is known for its vast number of Religious activities which in turn makes the religious activities of any other Catholic Private School no better than those of ours. The very objective of the Premier Catholic Boys’ Private School of Sri Lanka is to instil in its sons the seed of faith which one day will constitute a wholesome character for God. The punch and the palpitation of every parent as they first desire to admit the child to this College is also just that. A strict Catholic discipline made hovering around and a fitting faith-fill edarnbience will inevitably make a sound man with faith and religion. This exactly is why St. Joseph‘s College is entirely devoted to the task of creating the best of religious background with all its activities. We also experience in our daily routines of life change that takes place, the way persons are being shaped and the religiosity with which they embrace their academic pursuit.
Holy masses are celebrated 2 times a clay; 7.00 a.m. and 10.25 a.m. (during school interval). Nearly 1000 children in addition to the teachers, members of the clerical staff, members of the supportive staff and parents attend Mass. Morning prayers are recited daily before the commencement of the school, Angelus after the interval and the recessional prayers at the close of the school through the public address system. Almost all the students have made it a habit to visit the Blessed Sacrament at least once in a given day.
Every Thursday, the College organizes a Holy Hour from 1.45 to 2.45 for which a considerable cross section of the school takes part. The members of the Legion of Mary have their meetings and prayer sessions on Tuesdays. The members of the Y. C. S. Movement have their prayer sessions and meetings on Tuesdays. The members of the Jesus Youth Society have their prayer sessions and meetings on Wednesdays. Every Thursday the students donate their pocket money to share their mite with the less privileged children in the school through Vincent de Paul Society. Various societies organize prayer and Bible sessions as a part of their commitments in the society.
Twice A Week:
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Holy Mass is celebrated in the College Chapel at 6.30 a.m. for the early comers to the school. This Holy Mass is organized by the hostellers in the College. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, instead of Morning Prayers, special Bible Services are organized and conducted on class basis in which inspiring Bible discussions take place. A common Bible passage which has a relevance to their young lives is given to them and one student in the class takes the initiative to share his reflections on that given Scripture test. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the Josephian Bible Study Group organizes the Bible Talk in English. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, the Josephian Bible Study Group organizes the Bible Talk in Sinhala. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Josephian Bible Study Group organizes the Bible Talk in Tamil. A good number of children participate in the Bible discussions.
Every First Friday of the month all the students of the College take part in the Holy Eucharist. This is generally done in 3 categories for Primary School, Middle School and the Upper School.
The students begin the new term and also end the term with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and by dedicating their lives and their activities to the Eucharistic Lord. The Tutorial Staff begins the term with a special Holy Eucharist offered, asking G0d’s grace upon their work and commitment. The clerical staffs begin the term with a special Holy Eucharist to seek the blessings of the Lord in their lives. The children are given an opportunity to make their confessions and go for counselling.
Ash Wednesday Masses and other special religious activities are organized for the children as well as for the teachers and the clerical staff members. The Way of the Cross is organized separately for students, teachers and clerical staff members. Acts of penance and mortification are highly recommended and persuaded for.
The Feast of St. Joseph is organized on a grand scale to give the children a glimpse of the Heavenly joy in their lives. Hoisting of the Flags takes place 5 clays before the feast is celebrated. Milk Rice and other food items are shared in order to keep in line with the Sri Lankan Church traditions. Preparatory Novenas are organized separately for the Primary School, Middle School, Upper School and Advanced Level Section. The statue of St. Joseph is taken in procession from the Stanley Abeysekera Sports Complex cum Auditorium to the Quadrangle and final blessing is imparted. The Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated preceded by Tritium of preparatory novenas. This can be considered as the greatest religious celebration in the College. The procession of the Blessed Sacrament takes place immediately after the Mass. Hours of Adoration are given to students, teachers, workers etc. separately. This takes more of a family celebration for which every Josephian together with teachers, Clerical Staff members and Supportive Staff members take part actively. The Legion of Mary takes the initiative to organize the May Feast. This feast is celebrated on the last day of the month coined with the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Students of the Primary School & Teachers have the procession on the last day of the month as the Feast of Visitation. Pilgrimages by the teachers to the Shrine Our Lady of Good Health, Vailankanni and to the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu during the August holidays have become almost annual events now. On the Children‘s Day, Holy Mass is organized as a special event. This is done by the Liturgy Committee of the College with much vigour and preparation. The International Teachers’ Day is celebrated with a Holy Mass organized by the Prefects' Body of the College. The Rosary devotion in the month of October has a special feat in the College. The Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is taken into different classes and kept there for one full day until it is transferred to the next class the next day. During that particular clay the whole class gets together and prays the Rosary to Our Lady. This is in line with the tradition that we have in our villages where they take the statue from one house to the other for Rosary Devotion.
Annual retreats are organized for the members of the tutorial staff. This is generally a residential retreat for 2 days. In the month of November, as we commemorate our Dear Departed, children are given a special opportunity to offer masses for them. Every class is dedicated to a Saint. The feast of the particular saint is celebrated in the class together with the class teacher with a fitting prayer service organized by the students. They take part in Holy Mass as a class on that day. The First Holy Communion Service of the College has some special features and shows the Colleges organizational power. Christmas Carol Service takes a prominent place at St. Joseph’s. Many are of the opinion that this is the best Carol Service in town. Christmas Midnight Mass is offered in the College Chapel for Old Iosephians and others who are interested. On the day of the granting of admissions for Ordinary Level and Advanced Level Examinations, special prayer Services for blessing the children take place where the priests of the College lay hands and pray for every individual child. On every examination day of the Ordinary Level and Advanced Level students, Holy Mass is celebrated for the children to invigorate them with the blessings of the Lord. The policy is that they straightaway go to the examination hall from the chapel after mass. Our children, including the non- Catholics long to come for this Mass every examination day.
Once in Lifetime:
On the day of the admission of new students to grade O1, a special prayer service is conducted for the children and the parents to officially enrol them to the Josephian Family. Special retreats and preparatory seminars are organized for the children and the parents of the First Holy Communicants. Up till 2010, the Sacrament of Confirmation was administered in the College. A three month preparation was given to them with special retreats, seminars and other activities of formative value. The Leadership camps are organized for the students of grades 8 and 9 intertwined with a considerable dose of spirituality to mould their young personalities. Presently, the students of grade 10 receive a special opportunity to take part in a Day of Prayer and Meditation in Supuwath Arana, Seeduwa. The enrolment to the Advanced Level Section is done followed by a 2 day residential retreat for the children.
Before the commencement of every special function, the children take part in Holy Mass and pray for the event in which they take part. For this purpose, a special Holy mass is organized in every given instance. The children have made it a habit to visit the Blessed Sacrament and to pray before the statue of St. Joseph before they begin any activity in school. This has been instilled into them that without doing that they would never give themselves to any event in school. What is more important in all these is that Josephians have learnt to practise their faith, to become more and more Christ like and disseminate that faith to their surrounding society. This is our ultimate end!
Sports Council and Advisory Committee
The main objective of the two integral bodies is to ensure that the standard of sports in the College is of a standard which is acceptable. The function to guide the Administration with the latest innovations, they seek to obtain outside assistance if necessary from experts in the various sports. They have methods of fund raising so that the sportsmen of College are not lacking in any facility. Among other things, they ensure that there is a constant improvement in our all rounds standards be it the venue as well as ancillary facilities.
A code of conduct is demanded of all Josephian sportsmen. This includes not only the participants but also the academic, coaching and support staff. Any misdemeanour is referred to the committee who after examining the matter will refer it to the Rector whose decision is final.
Headed by its President, Mr. Brendon Morris the Society plays an integral role on having its finger on the financial pulse of the College, in terms of finance receipts, payments and investments making certain that the best is obtained for the College. The wise counsel of its Committee of Management examines every single aspect of any transaction. The Clerical Staff of the Society does a good job of the day to day activities of the Society. We sincerely thank the President, Secretary Committee of Management and the Clerical Staff for their effort.
This is yet another brainchild of the Most. Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis, the Archbishop Emeritus of Colombo. This was the first school which came under the umbrella of the parent school at Maradana. It came into existence in 1996 which coincided with the centenary of the parent school.
The Enderamulla Branch started with 80 students. Its first Rector was Rev. Dr. Stanley Abeysekara and was followed by Rev. Fr. Victor Silva and Rev. Fr. Sylvester Ranasinghe. The first Principals were Rev. Fr. Sudath Goonatilleke followed by Rev. Fr. Kennedy Perera and Rev. Fr. Sam Quintus. The first Resident Rector is the incumbent Rev. Fr. Ranjith Andradi who was appointed in 2011. The Principals were Rev. Fr. Anthony Fernadopulle followed by Rev. Fr. Ranjith Ranjith Andradi who was appointed in 2011. The Principals were Rev. Fr. Anthony Fernadopulle followed by Rev. Fr. Ranjith Andradi. The current Deputy Principal is Rev. Fr. Kamal Kumara.
The current Tutorial Staff is 53 and the majority being graduates and trained teachers. The student body numbers 1200 and classes are from Grade 01 to the Advanced Level. The main focus of the College is to form good Catholics and excellent citizens to the society. The College endeavours to its utmost in instructing the students the values of its Patron St. Joseph. Lenten, Easter, devotions are conducted and the Christmas Season is ushered in with the singing of Christmas Carols The First Holy Communion Service, Month of May Devotions are also held to enhance their spirituality. The Choir, Eastern and Western Bands, Scouts, YCS, SVP, Bible Society, Debating Society and the English and Sinhala Literary Associations are some of the co-curricular societies in the College.
The Chapel built in 2009 has Holy Mass celebrated daily. Amongst the many facilities provided by the school are the computer laboratory with the Main Server System with 42 computers, a new Science laboratory, fully air conditioned auditorium with audio visual facilities, Library with internet facilities and a Western Music Room.
In the field of Sports the College was the Under 13 Group Champions in 2011, Gampaha District and Under 15 Group Champions 2012 of the same district.
From a little acorn has sprung a maturing oak. This indeed is a way of describing the Negombo Branch of St. Joseph's College Colombo 10.
It was again the far sighted vision of the Most Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis who in his intense love of making education available to all, especially to the less fortunate and fired with the ambition of the Gospel "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" (Mat. 28:19). Rev. Fr. Sudath Goonatlleke and his little band led from the front. Everyone was on the "Go", shrub and jungle were cleared. Valley and plain were levelled. Hatchet and crow bar, mamoty and spade saw the foundation stone laid on.
Entrusted with the task in 2005, Rev. Fr. Sudath Goonatilleke got down to brass tacks. He mobilised an assortment of persons. Engineers, technicians, artisans, clerical and manual employees and the dream became a reality on 16th February, 2006, the school was declared open. Motivated by Fr. Sudath to achieve greater heights he appealed for assistance. His charm paid off. The assistance came both from abroad and locally. The Old Boys of the Negombo Branch also spearheaded the appeal. Like a kettle on the boil he kept pushing for greater efforts from the staff of six teachers.
Today, the students on roll are 1,200. The Tutorial Staff has increased to 55. The tiny school which started with classes from Grade one to four has doubled itself and has classes from Grade one to nine. A fully equipped Computer Laboratory is available for those inclined in IT. In academia the school has produced an all island age group champion in chess who represented the National Schools Squad in India with distinction. Sports is a passion amongst the students. Today they take part in competitive cricket, athletics, gymnastics and basketball. A Swimming pool is on the cards. Holy Mass is celebrated daily in the beautiful little chapel. The Annual Carol Service is looked forward to by many in the town and the outskirts. The Feast of Corpus Christi, First Holy Communion, Confirmation and Month of May Devotion highlight the religious aspect of the school. A Development Society and a Parent-Teacher Association help to smooth any rough edges in the administration. The Prefects' Body and Little Friends make their own contribution. Cultural Days are organized.
In recognition of his leader tip qualities His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo earlier this year elevated Rev. Fr. Sudath to the rank of Rector / Principal of the School and declared the School as an autonomous body, though it still functions as a Branch School in terms of Administration.
Our Branch net work is spread in Australia, - Branches in the various States, U.K., Canada – which is a Joint Association of St. Joseph’s and St. Peter’s Colleges, North America and the Middle East. The Branches are the link between the College and Old Boys living across the globe.
Their cheerfulness in supporting the College materially and financially is admirable. They organize social events such as dances, cricket and golf tournaments, Christmas and Family Get togethers and Quadrangular tournaments to raise funds All these efforts are aimed at keeping alive the Josephina Family spirit and the enhancing the bonds of friendship between the members and those in the Catholic Quadrangular schools. They also endeavour at keeping aloft the great values and traditions that was inculcated into them when they were boys in this great College.
About Our Staff
Success of any organization is dependent on the efforts of its staff. This is never more true than in education where success is measured in terms of results specially at public examinations. At St. Joseph’s College we are more than fortunate to have a charismatic staff that is passionate and inspiring about teaching. The understanding and empathy they show to the students inspires the students to give off their best. Each student is a special person to our staff and this results .in a bond between student and teacher.
Clerical & Domestic Staff
The smooth functioning of any organization is dependant of the back up services provided by those who operate behind the scenes. I wish to state that the members of these two categories have always and readily responded to the call of duty willingly. I must state that they have been loyal, and perform their duties efficiently which helps this large machinery to function smoothly. We appreciate and thank the staff of the Rector’s Office which includes Mr. Anton Wilson my Secretary. Mr. Shien Pereira, Assistant Secretary, and Mr. Nihal Perera. We must thank Ms. R. Priyanwada, Mr. Priyantha Karunaratne, Ms. Jean Fernando Miss Usha Nilanthani of the College Office and Ms. Vihangi Seneviratne and Mr. Manoj Kumara of the Primary School Office. Mr. Telly Fernando, Mr. Ambrose Rajendram, Mr. Range Heenatigala, Mr. Sisara Herath, Mr. Tharaka Abeynayake and Miss Madhubhashani Weerasooriya all of the Bursar’s Office. Mr. Cecil Fernando who operates the Book Shop. Mr. Nelson Perera who is in charge of the Stores and Mrs. Virajini de Silva our Receptionist/Telephone Operator our thanks also go to Mr. Sudath Perera our Senior Librarian, Mrs. Lorraine De Silva the Middle School Librarian, Mrs. Victoria George our Primary School Librarian, Mrs. Kamala Perera who works in the College infirmary. Mr. D. K. Christopher and Mr. Saman Liyanaarachi who work in the Science Laboratory of the College. We also thank Mr. Harmer, Mr. Alwis Of the Security Staff. Mr. S.M.D Seneviratne who is incharge of the minor staff. Mr. C. Nimal Ananda, who is in charge of the Hostel. and Mr. Mark Anthony who works in the College Chapel. I also thank Mr. Navaratne, the manager of the Sports Complex. Mr. Shanthilal Bernard, Manager of the Canteen and Mr. Palitha Peiries, Manager of the Swimming Pool, Mr. Anil Perera who is in charge of victuals in the Kitchen Department.