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Father Sextus Don July 10, 1952 - July 28, 2018

Father Sextus Don, a native of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), an island country off the southeast tip of India, was born on July 10, 1952, in Negombo, a large Catholic community that goes back to the time of the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500. Wanting something different, his name was chosen by the family from the list of Popes, Sixtus and Telesphorus.

As a young boy, he felt the calling to be a priest, often taking the part of a priest in childhood games. The young Don attended Salesian Minor Seminary in Negombo, Sri Lanka, from grade 7 to grade 10. Then he proceeded to India to continue his further studies for almost 10 years. He was ordained on Dec. 22, 1979, by the late Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando, Bishop of Chilaw in Negombo, Sri Lanka, at the age of 27.

After his ordination into the priesthood, Father Don was assigned as administrator to the Salesian Minor Seminary in Kandy, Sri Lanka, from 1979 to 1983. From 1983 to 1987, he was in Rome, where he worked on his masters in science of education. In 1987, he was assigned as rector of the Salesian Minor Seminary of Dankotuwa, Sri Lanka, until 1992.

In 1992, Father Don came to the United States and was an associate pastor for four years at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Nyack, New York. With the little Haitian Creole that he learned, he also served the Haitian community.

Bishop John M. D’Arcy invited Father Don to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in 1997. Accepting the invitation, he was immediately assigned as administrator of St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Columbia City, serving there for four years. In late July 2001, Father Don was transferred to St. Bernard Church, Wabash, until his death on Saturday, July 28, 2018.

Father Don is survived by sister Mariya Don (Tennyson) and their children, Johny, Ajani and Sujani; brother Navil Don (Minon) and their children, Shean and Niki; brother Christy Don (Piyanka) and their children, Rosheal and Chirsh; sister Rose Don (Niroshan) and their children, Rayne, Rolina Rolida and Rayen.

Father Don was a dedicated and humble teaching priest, and, being a Salesian, he had a natural love for children. He revitalized the jail ministry and was chaplain for the Father Petitt Counsel, Knights of Columbus, Wabash.

Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 207 N. Cass St., Wabash, Indiana, 46992, with Father Mark Gertner Vicar General of The Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend officiating. Burial will be at Fort Wayne Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne. Visitation for family and friends will be on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, at St. Bernard Catholic Church from 2 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. with a vigil service and rosary service to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations are to be made to St. Bernard Church, St. Bernard School or the Sri Lankan Children’s Fund. Donations can be sent to St. Bernard’s Church, 207 N. Cass St., Wabash, Indiana, 46992.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McDonald Funeral Home, 231 Falls Ave., Wabash, Indiana, 46992.

Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.mcdonaldfunerals.com.