The Holy Father, His Holiness Pope Francis, has appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Mannar, Reverend Dr. Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando, currently Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Rev. Dr. Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando was born on 20th May 1948 in Jaffna. His parents are from Vembar, India. He hails from a large family, four of whom play major roles in religion. There are two priests and two nuns in the family.
After completing his philosophical studies at the National Seminary in Ampitiya, he was sent to Rome for theological studies. There he obtained his Bachelors degree in Theology and a Licentiate in Moral Theology at Urbaniana University. He completed his doctoral Degree in Moral Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, USA.
He was ordained as a priest by Pope Paul VI on 6th Jan 1973 and after the appointment of Pope Benedict XVI, he was consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo on 11th Feb 2012, by the Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, together with two co-consecrators: the first co-consecrator was the then Bishop of Trincomalee, Rev. Dr. Joseph Kingsley Swampillai and the second co-consecrator was the Bishop of Kurunegala, Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony Perera.
Rev. Dr. Joseph Kingsley Swampillai has been serving in the Mannar Diocese as the Apostolic Administrator until now, after the retirement of Bishop Rayyapu Joseph. Monsignor Emmanuel Fernando was assigned to the titular See of Horta.
In his long years of ministry, he was Rector of the National Seminary, lecturer of Moral Theology, Episcopal Vicar for the South in the Archdiocese of Colombo, Episcopal Vicar for the Tamil Apostolate in the same Archdiocese, Regional Bishop of Negombo and also Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Ecumenism and Inter Religious Dialogue.