(Roman Catholic Priest with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Doctor in Philosophy, Professor, President of EL Campus, Writer, Humanitarian, Spiritual Counselor)
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Rev. Fr. Edwin Savundra at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, New York on Friday, January 13, 2023 at the age of 82. Beloved brother of Soosai Thevathasan and brother-in-law of Mary Pushparani (Late). Dearest uncle of Darwin, Albert, Gilbert, Stella, Mervyn and their families. Predeceased by his parents Marian Soosai and Isador Sebamalai Pakkiyam. Father Edwin was given the gift of priesthood on October 19, 1972 at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Jaffna. He was assigned to pastoral ministries at Kilinochchi, Jaffna and Mannar for the first 25 years of his priestly life. He served as the Assistant Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu.
He was sent to Rome for his post-graduate studies in Philosophy and secured a PhD at the Gregorian University in Rome. He returned to the Diocese to be a Professor of Philosophy and the Head of the Department of Philosophy at Saint Francis Xavier’s Seminary, Jaffna. He served there untill the political turmoil in the country forced him to seek shelter in foreign countries. He chose Papua New Guinea, a poor and a mission country, and served as the Professor of Philosophy at the Good Shepherd College, Fatima, Banz in the Western Highland Province. Then he taught at the University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN and Mankato State University. He had taken classes in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and at the National Seminary in Ampitiya, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Later, he served at the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Marysburg, Madison Lake, MN, the Church of the Nativity, Cleveland, MN and Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rush City, MN as a beloved parish priest for many years.
He also authored many books in Philosophy. Some of the titles are “The Structures to Behold”, “The Philosophy of Form and the Human Person” and “A War Diary from Jaffna”.
Fr. Edwin has been involved in initiating many humanitarian development works in the Dioceses of Jaffna and Mannar including; Youth Farm at Kunchchukulam, Fr. Bastian Educational Assistance Scheme, Fr. Abraham’s Educational Assistance Scheme, The English Language Campus and an English Library at Viswamadhu.
The pastoral activities characterized by many social and humanitarian services are real signs of God’s special blessings in the Church for which he served for fifty plus years.
Prayer vigils for Fr. Edwin are being held in Mallaham and Viswamadu, Sri Lanka, his native country. Also, viewing and a mass to be held in Toronto, ON, Canada where he has family, friends, former students and fellow priests.
Funeral mass will be held at the Church of the Nativity, Cleveland MN followed by burial at Marysburg Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, January 26 from 8:30AM-10:00AM with Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00AM all held at the Church of the Nativity in Cleveland. Interment will be held in Marysburg Cemetery following Mass.