Good Shepherd Convent
"They conquer who believe they can"
The history of the Good Shepherd
Convent, Kotahena, Colombo 13,
Sri Lanka set out below was compiled
The Order of the Good Shepherd
Sisters had been in existence for forty
years in Angers, France, when a plea
was made in 1867 by Bishop Sillani of
Colombo to its Founder, Mother St.
Marie Euphrasia Pelletier requesting
the setting up of a Convent in
Colombo for the education of young
ladies and the caring of orphans.
Thus it was that a group of four
European nuns arrived in Galle Harbour
on 13 April 1869. They travelled to
Colombo in a horse drawn carriage and
on the same day, after a thanksgiving
service at St Lucia's Church (as it was
then called) in Kotahena, were
installed in the Convent of the Sacred
Heart, which the Bishop had already
built for them.
A New School
The Sisters opened their new school,
which was housed in the Convent, on
1st May 1869. It was a small beginning
with only eight pupils from the vicinity,
the children of Portuguese and
The House of Prayer
The first undertaking of the Sisters
was the erection of a chapel and the
task of designing and constructing it
was entrusted to Fr. Tabarrani, who
was regarded as the 'Michael Angelo'
of Ceylon. He built a beautiful chapel
which was consecrated on 21st June
1879, with help from Catholics of the
Colombo vicariate, which was all
the more appreciated as at the
time the Cathedral of St. Lucia was
also under construction.
St Anne's Boarding
The next priority was the
construction of an orphanage.
By the early 1870s there were
about 100 day scholars and the few
orphans who lived in the school and
used the classrooms to sleep in at
Legend has it that one night,
before the onset of a severe storm,
a beautiful lady appeared to the
children and asked them to leave
the building. A few moments after
they had done as they were told
the building collapsed.
The need for a permanent building