Pope Francis named Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando as the new bishop of the Diocese of Mannar (Sri Lanka).
Bishop Fernando will transfer from the Archdiocese of Colombo to replace Retired Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai who was the Administrator of the diocese from January 2016.
Bishop Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando was born on May 20, 1948 in Jaffna. After completing his ordinaries Emmanuel entered St. Aloysius Minor Seminary. He was at the "Hawardan" at Haputale for a few months and then entered the National Seminary. In August 1969 he came to Rome for Theology. In 1974 he got the licentiate in Theology.
On January 6, 1973 he was ordained a priest by the Holy Father Pope Paul VI in Rome along with 38 priests from 19 countries on the solemn occasion of the 350th Anniversary of the congregation for evangelization of people. In 1987 he proceeded to United States and earned a Doctorate in moral Theology from the Catholic University, Washington DC.
As a priest he has held the following Offices:
Assistant parish priest in three parishes
Professor at the National Seminary of Kandy
Vice-Rector of the National Seminary of Kandy
Rector of the National Seminary of Kandy
Pastor, Dean in the Moratuwa area.
Episcopal Vicar for Catechesis.
The Apostolate for the Family.
Episcopal Vicar for the southern area of the Archdiocese.
Member of the Priests’ Council and the Board of Consultants.
Episcopal Vicar for the faithful of Tamil origin in the Archdiocese of Colombo.
On February 11, 2012 he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo, the office he held till date.
As of 2013 statistics Mannar diocese has 89 thousand catholics, 34 parishes with 87 diocesan priests, 47 religious priests and 183 women religious.