Kandy, Adisham, Wahakotte Mission


In the 19th century, due to historical compulsions, the Sylvestrine Congregation dared to step out into other continents and thus the Ceylon Mission was begun in 1845.

Indeed, the Ceylon Mission begun about 150 years ago, was the first Benedictine foundation in the whole of Asia.

The first monastery outside of Italy was established in Kandy and the Sylvestrine charism took root in Sri Lanka, the erstwhile Ceylon, where many of its illustrious sons dot the history of the Sri Lankan Church.

It soon grew with indigenous vocations and had among its membership not only local vocations but also some fifteen or so young men from India who later on, in the providence of God, were to become trail-blazers of Sylvestrine charism in that country.

An accident of history on the political scenario of Sri Lanka, made this dream come alive, when the Indian monks were asked to leave the country. It was these monks who occasioned the Sylvestrine charism to strike root in India, a land of great monastic and religious traditions.

A four km drive from Haputale will lead you to Adisham, the monastery now run by Sylvestrine Monks. Wrapped in the tranquility of the misty hills, Adisham Bungalow attracts every eye that falls on it. The pages of history reveal that the creator of this enthralling place is Sir Thomas Lister Villiers.

Sir Thomas strongly opposed the employment of children as domestic servants and maintained that the state had an obligation to provide all children with an education so that they could improve their position in life.

Almost all of the parishioners here today are employed in the tea-estates. The salaries they receive are hardly sufficient to cover their daily expenses. Holy Mass is offered in all three churches,?every?Sunday.

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Our Lady of Lourdes, Church in the Glenanore estate is about 6 km from Adisham, St Benedict’s Church at Idalgashinna estate, 12 km and Our Lady, the Queen of Oblates Church at?Ohia is 35 km.

The roads to Idalgashinna and Ohia are very much dilapitated and hardly any vehicle go along these roads. People walk five to ten miles to get into a bus or a train and travel twenty to twenty five miles to get their basic requisites.

The Adisham community also maintains the orchards surrounding the monastery. The Monks with the help of a few village workers cultivate strawberries, guavas, Seville oranges and other vegetables.

The fruits of the orchards are used to produce natural jams, cordials and jellies for which Adisham has made itself famous in every part of the island. The income gained through the sales is used for the maintenance of the place.

The Benedictine mission house in Wahakotte is attached to St. Anthony's National Shrine. St. Anthony’s church at Wahakotte is one of the most sacred pilgrim centres for catholics in Sri Lanka, enshrining a miraculous statue of St. Anthony of Padua (Italy).

The historic Wahakotte religious festival, portrays the story of Catholics, who, without any help from organised clergy maintained the Catholic faith for over 200 years in purely, non-Catholic surroundings. Today Wahakotte holds a unique place in the history of Catholics in Sri Lanka.


The Ceylon Mission was the first Benedictine foundation in the whole of Asia

The Sylvestrine charism takes root in Sri Lanka

  1. ?Since 1845; Kandy, Adisham, Wahacotte shrine, 2 parishes

  2. ?St Anthony’s College:

?? 2600 students with quota 30% Christian

?? and 140 staff; hostel & orphanage;

?? new St Benedict’s school.

In contributing to our vital work your donations will be used to pay for:

  1. ?Rebuild Wahacotte mission house

?? (main photo) $450,000

  1. ?Rebuild Hostel & Orphanage

  2. ?New St Benedict’s school

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Kandy, Adisham, Wahakotte SRI LANKA









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