Consecration of Deputy Bishop held in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 May 2008, 00:46 GMT]
The Episcopal Ordination of the Bishop-elect Msgr. Joseph Ponniah was held Saturday afternoon at St. Mary's Co-Cathedral, Batticaloa by His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Kinglsey Swampillai, the Bishop of Trincomalee-Batticaloa, sources in Batticaloa said.

A large number of religious dignitaries and Bishops of Catholic Church from various dioceses in the island as well as a large number of people from various parishes in the district participated in the historic event.

After the consecration of the auxiliary bishop, Rev. Dr. Kinglsey Swampillai handed over selected responsibilities to the newly elected Bishop.

Rev. Fr. Joseph Ponniah, Vicar General of Trincomalee-Batticaloa, Sri Lanka was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the same diocese by Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in March.

The newly consecrated Bishop was born in Thannamunai, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1980.

Having done his B.Ph at St. Paul's Seminary, Thiruchiraapalli in South India, and B.Th in the Papal Seminary, Poona, India, Fr.Ponniah returned to Sri Lanka for the Ordination.

Thereafter, he did B.A. in the University of Peradeniya, Licentiate in Biblical Theology at Urbania University, Rome, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Christian Civilization at the University of Jaffna.

He served at the Parishes of Batticaloa Cathedral, Vaakarai, Veechckukkalmunai, Aaiyithiyamalai, Periya Pullumalai and Thandavanvely.

He was appointed as the Rector of St. Joseph's Minor Seminary, Batticaloa and served from 1993 to 1996.

In 1996 he appointed as a Lecturer at the National Seminary, Ampitiya, and Kandy in 1996 and was involved in the National Seminary formation and giving lectures in Sacred Scripture, Hinduism, Indian Philosophy and Catechetics, untill 2001.

He was also Resource person at the National Institute of Education, Maharagama, lecturing Religion in Tamil language to the teachers. He was the Editor of the Diocesan Catholic Paper "Vettappu" and the Diocesan Bulletin. As a Spiritual Director he assisted the Legion of Mary and Divine Mercy Apostolates.

He was appointed as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Trinco-Batticaloa on 19th February 2006 and beside the commitments in the Diocese, he has been lecturing at the Eastern University, Vanthaarumoolai, Batticaloa.


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