Rev. Fr. Liguory Rodrigo OMI (1878-1931)
Father Liguory Rodrigo was born on the 11 of January, 1878 at Kurunegala, then the diocese of Jaffna,
entered Martin Seminary in 1890 glided through St. Patrick’s then the Oblate Novitiate and
the Big Seminary in Jaffna and was ordained a priest by Mgr. Henry Joulain on the 19″ of February
He was posted to St. Mary’s Cathedral as Assistant Parish Priest; from there he went to Mirusuvil
and in the following year 1906 he was sent to the Mission of Ilavalai as Assistant.
A born organizer and a great preacher, that he was, soon gave shape to the visions of late Bishop
Christopher Ernest Bonjean OMI (1823-1892) to have Anglo-vernacular schools established in the
outlaying missions, by starting a little English School in the compound of llavalai Church with a duo
Mr. B.J. Vincent and Mr. L. Paul as teachers in 1907. Fr. Rodrigo being the founder of the school,
named it after then incumbent Bishop Henry Joulain OMI (1852-1919), as St. Henry’s English
While at Ilavalai he was very much involved in construction of the present church of Periya Vilan, in
aid of which he organized a Panach-Chadanku. From Ilavalai, Fr. Rodrigo was transferred to
Mannar St. Xavier’s School as the Principal and gave 13 years of his fruitful hard labour. From there
he was posted to Naranthanai as Parish Priest in 1922, came to Mathagal St. Joseph’s
School in 1923 as its Principal and the following year went to Point Pedro. He passed away at Kayts
on 21 “April, 1931.
In the sands of Henrician history Fr. Liguory Rodrigo, of the Oblate order, will be enshrined as the
Founding Father of St. Henry’s College, Ilavalai.