New Auxillary Bishop appointed for East
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 02:56 GMT]
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rev.Fr.Joseph Ponniah as auxiliary Bishop of Trincomalee-Batticaloa diocese, where he was already serving as Vicar General. The announcement was made on 19 February according to Church officials in Trincomalee.
The request for appointment of the new bishop was made to Vatican by Bishop Kingsley Swampillai, Bishop of Trincomalee-Batticaloa diocese.
Bishop Ponniah was born on October 12, 1952, in Thannaamunai, Batticaloa. After studying at St Joseph's Minor Seminary and at St Joseph's College in Trincomalee, he did his Bachelor of Philosophy at St Paul seminary in Thiruchirapally, India, and Bachelor of Theology at the National seminary in Poonah, also in India.
He then returned to Sri Lanka where he was ordained a priest on April 30, 1980, and there after he did B.A. degree at the University of Peradeniya, Licentiate in Biblical Theology at Urbania University, Rome, and Ph.D in Christian Civilization at the University of Jaffna.
He has served at the Parishes of Batticaloa Cathedral, Vaakarai, Veechukalmunai, Aaiyiththiyamalai, Periya Pullumalai and Thaa’ndavanve’ly. He was appointed as the Rector of St. Joseph's Minor Seminary, Batticaloa and served from 1993 to 1996.
In 1996 he was appointed as a Lecturer at the National Seminary, Ampitiya, and Kandy in 1996, and was involved in the National Seminary formation and lecturing Sacred Scripture, Hinduism, Indian Philosophy and Catechetics, until 2001.
He was also Resource person at the National Institute of Education, Maharagama, lecturing Religion in Tamil language to the teachers.
The diocese of Trincomalee was established on August 25, 1893.