Felicitation of His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Fidelis Emmanuel Fernando
The Director, Rev. Brother Janaka Fonseka, the teachers and students together with the Old Boys, felicitated Right Rev. Dr. Fidelis Emmanuel Fernando ordained Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo, on 11th February 2012, at St. Benedictís College, Colombo on 17th February 2012 after the 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Holy Mass concelebrated by His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Fidelis Emmanuel Fernando, Rev. Fr. Noel Dias, Rev Fr. Felician Perera, Rev. Fr. Lalith Felix Perera and Rev. Fr. Tony Martin, at St. Luciaís Cathedral, Colombo 13.
The felicitation ceremony commenced at the college entrance, welcoming and ushering His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Fidelis Emmanuel Fernando to the open air stage. The proceedings commenced with the traditional lighting of the Oil Lamp and singing of the College Anthem led by the college choir. This followed the welcome Speech by Rev. Bro. Janaka Fonseka, Director of St. Benedictís College.
An expression of memories by Old Ben Dudley Thambinayagam, (a class mate of His Lordship) would have certainly brought joy and happiness to all the Old Bens present, recollecting their good old school days where Religion, Discipline and Culture were the values inculcated into them by the La Sallian teaching.
Speech by the Head Prefect Master Ashan Sugunakumar was followed by the address of His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Fidelis Emmanuel Fernando, where His Lordship too recalled the discipline and the teaching by the De La salle brothers which influenced him to the priesthood and thanked the La Sallian congregation for their dedicated service rendered to the community.
As a token of appreciation, a commemorative plaque was presented to his Lordship, by Rev. Bro. Director, prior to the vote of thanks which was presented by eminent Old Ben Pradeep Morais. This followed a Cultural show presented by the students which was at a very high standard and appreciated by all present.
The proceedings concluded with singing of the National Anthem. Thereafter, His Lordship and the distinguish guests were treated to a fellowship at the college hostel.
Bishop Fernando, hails from a family of eight children two of whom joined the priesthood and two girls joined the Carmelite Congregation as nuns. His foundation education was at St. Benedictís College, Colombo. He was ordained a priest by Pope Paul VI at St. Peterís Basilica, Rome in 1966. He obtained a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Catholic University in Washington DC. Returning home he was appointed as the Vice-Rector at the National Seminary and thereafter as Rector from 1989 to 1991.
Having reached a very significant mile stone of priestly ministry, he committed his life in celibacy and obedience to the calling of god. It was a journey facing a multitude of stumbling blocks, bet he converted each stumbling block into a stepping stone, a grace-bearing cross. The Almighty God had done great things in his life. Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel is certainly a vessel chosen by God to serve the whole church of Sri Lanka in its long and eventful history and a legend in the hearts and minds of the priests and people alike, as a teacher, rector, pastor and friend.
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