Father Jerome Jayasuriya, who served and assisted in various area parishes, died March 31

by North Texas Catholic

April 3, 2017

Fr. Jerome Jayasuriya (Photo courtesy Corpus Christi Catholic Church)

FORT WORTH — Father Jerome Jayasuriya, a retired priest of the Diocese of Dallas, who also served in the Diocese of Fort Worth, died March 31 in Ennis.

Visitation will take place April 4 at 5 p.m., followed by a vigil service at 7:30 p.m. at Corpus Christi Church, 111 N. Wood Street, Ferris, 75125.  

Dallas auxiliary Bishop Gregory Kelly will preside at a Mass of Christian Burial on April 5 at 10 a.m., also at Corpus Christi Church. Interment will be in the Priests Circle at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas.

Fr. Jayasuriya was born in Sri Lanka to Michael and Jermina Jayasuriya. He was one of four children. He was ordained for the Diocese of Chilaw, Sri Lanka on Dec. 21, 1961. Following his ordination, he moved to Texas and obtained a master’s degree in philosophy from Texas Christian University. He earned another degree in philosophy from Fordham University in 1984. He came to the Diocese of Dallas in 1985, was incardinated there in 1990, and became a U.S. citizen that same year. Later, he earned a degree in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

During his time in Dallas, he served parishes in Henderson, Bonham, and Waxahachie.

After his retirement in 2001, he lived with his sister in Midlothian and assisted at various area parishes.

In 2007, he served in the Diocese of Fort Worth as sacramental minister at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Pilot Point. He served as sacramental minister at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Breckenridge and Jesus of Nazareth Parish in Albany in 2008. He also served for a number of years as a supply priest providing sacramental services and pastoral care throughout the diocese.

“He was a wonderful priest. It was quite a travel from Waxahachie to here on the weekends, but he never questioned it. He went wherever they told him to go,” said Linda Thomas, parishioner and office manager at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. She would often help Fr. Jayasuriya get set up for weekend Masses at the parish.

“He was just a wonderful human being and a good priest,” she said.

For the past four years Fr. Jayasuriya assisted at the parish of Corpus Christi in Ferris — part of the Diocese of Dallas.

“Please keep Fr. Jayasuriya, his family, and friends in your prayers during this time,” Bishop Michael Olson said in an April 3 statement. “May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.”

FORT WORTH — Father Jerome Jayasuriya, a retired priest of the Diocese of Dallas, who also served in the Diocese of Fort Worth, died March 31 in Ennis.

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