“That they may have life; life in its fullness.”
Daya Mina, or ‘Gem of Love’ is a centre for young girls and boys with special needs. Started in 1989, it is a government approved Charity under the Sudaya Trust ( Gazette 93/07/624 and recognized under the social services ( Col 41/91). With a western province registration: WP/SSD/C/DH/2013/02.
‘Daya Mina’ is a religious organisation run by the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary who are determined to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the so-called “disabled” are in fact differently-abled in varying degrees and are far from being invalids of society.
At present, there are about 60 students coming from all walks of life... Some students need to be sponsored. The staff are accompanied and given ongoing formation, on the job training locally and overseas.
It offers more opportunities for the mentally challenged to participate in many activities and skills. Dancing, singing and creation of works of art of various forms are daily activities at Day Mina. Trained teachers in special education, visiting experts and volunteers are part and parcel of the academic staff of Daya Mina.
Our Motto, “That they may have life; life in its fullness.” (Jn. 10.10) expresses the core values of the Centre. Each person is unique and valuable; therefore our aim is that all associated with Daya Mina may develop their full potential, both as carers, trainers and those who are guided and trained.
WHO WE ARE
SISTERS OF CHARITY OF JESUS AND MARY
The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity had a modest beginning in the rural district of Lovendegem, in the Diocese of Ghent, Belgium.
At the beginning of 1803 Peter Joseph Triest , the founder a Belgian priest, was appointed parish priest in Lovendegem. The poverty, the moral depravity, the crying need for education and care of the sick spurred P.J. Triest into action. Responding to the local needs, he gathered together a few devout single women into a religious association. They soon moved into a little house in the hamlet of Appensvoorde: this was to be the cradle of the Congregation.
On 4th November 1803, feast of St. Charles Borromeo, the congregation of the "Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary" was canonically established by Mgr. Fallot de Beaumont, their convent being dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels.
The first superior or leader under the name of Mother Placide. ,was a former Cistercian novice. On 2nd July 1804 the first Sisters of Charity pronounced their first vows and decided also to devote their lives to "the caring of the poor and destitute". In Lovendegem the sisters gave lessons, looked after orphans and went into the homes of the sick and old to care for them. Moved by the inspiration of the founder to see the face of Christ in the vulnerable.
OUR HOLY FOUNDER
Peter Joseph Triest was born in Brussels on 31st August 1760 in a well-to-do family. He first attended the Jesuit school in Brussels and went on from there to the Latin School in Geel. Subsequently, he followed a two-year philosophy course at Louvain University. At the age of 22, he began his studies for the priesthood at the Seminary in Malines and was ordained priest in 1786.
He began his ministry in Malines and the surrounding district. In 1797 he was appointed parish priest of St. Peter’s, Renaix. It was then that Triest refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Republic and decided to go into hiding in order to help his parishioners in their spiritual needs. After the signing of the Concordat in 1802, Triest could openly take over the parish of St. Martin in Renaix but his stay there was short-lived. One year later he was transferred to Lovendegem, where he would start his life’s work. He was moved by the poverty and misery of the people around him, especially the plight of children. Hence, he gathered together a small group of young women to work for the care and education of the neediest.
Thus in 1803 he laid the foundation of his first Congregation, the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary. In 1806 he was appointed as a member of the Poor Relief Committee in Ghent. It was in that function that his pastoral inspiration started to really grow. He devoted practically all his time to the elderly, the poor, the mentally ill, and to foundlings or, in other words, to those in whom society did not seem to take any interest. In 1807 he founded the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity. The Brothers’ duties consisted primarily in nursing the impoverished elderly and mental patients. In 1825 he founded the Brothers of St John of God who had to nurse the poor in their homes (this Congregation is no more). One year before he died, in 1835, he founded the Sisters of the Childhood of Jesus who had to look after foundlings.
Our mission as Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary is to reveal that GOD IS LOVE, especially to the poor and the abandoned of our time. Impelled by the love of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the mission of promoting the reign of God in our particular society and in the world at large. This mission of revealing that God is love is central to our call as religious and it is the basis of all our services.
By the very nature of our call to be Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, we receive a special grace to fulfill this mission. We call this our charism, which is love, expressed in the three dimensions of our life – love for God, love for one another in the communities and love for all people especially the poor who are abandoned by the world. Our founder, Peter Joseph Triest saw this love as a legacy from Christ himself. Therefore “the Charism of every SCJM lies in the particular way in which she unifies in her life, the three dimensions of union with God, service of our neighbor and life in community. This unification is woven into life itself”. (Constitution art. 6)
To be able to live these three dimensions of love, we have received a spirituality from our founders which is a combination of the spirituality of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and that of St. Vincent de Paul. Thus the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary are Contemplatives in Action. Simply put, the sisters try to seek God with an undivided heart which inevitably enables them to reach out to others especially the poor and the less fortunate through various services.
Contemplation or union with God is at the heart of our vowed consecration and is expressed by An open ear: a deep and dynamic listening to God, others and the contemporary world.
An open heart: the experience of being loved by God, the energizing force driving us to love others as God loves us.
Open hands: Solidarity which enables us to hear the cry of those who suffer, to empathize with them and to respond by freely giving and receiving.
The sisters of charity came over to Sri Lanka in November 1896 from Belgium at the invitation of the then Bishop of Galle Mgr. Van Reeth s.j. They engaged in education and care for various forms of poor and vulnerable. At present there are 26 communities in various parts of Sri Lanka. North South, East and West
The very first home and residential centre by the sisters of Charity was started in SUPEM UYANA (Garden of Love).
This was the very first home and residential centre by the sisters of Charity. This is a place for children with different abilities. Situated in Gonapinuwela off Hikkaduwa, on the Baddegama Rd. Tel. 0915625133
It was established in 1964 and is designed in cottage style, surrounding the main building. Presently there are 4 cottages housing 4 family units. Supem Uyana cares for boys and girls of ages varying from 3 to 20. Most of the children enter at a very early age and leave when they are sufficiently trained in independence. Supem Uyana marked 53 years this year. Many hundreds of children have passed through these portals over the years.
Avurudu Celebrations 2017
The annual Avurudu celebrations is one of most looked forward to events for the differently abled youth of Daya Mina. This year the event was organized and animated by the Marist Youth Ministry with the support of Sisters, Teachers & Parents of Daya Mina. The spirit of taking part is more prevalent than winning or losing which makes these children special as they teach others by their actions rather than words. A selection of photos is presented here to give an overview of the Sooriya Festival which you can see was enjoyed by all present.