Earl Fernandes becomes first Indian-American bishop

Washington: Pope Francis has appointed Father Earl K. Fernandes, a former staff member of the apostolic nunciature in Washington and currently a Cincinnati pastor, to head the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.

He succeeds Bishop Robert J. Brennan, named to head the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, last September. He was installed Nov. 30.

At 49, Bishop-designate Fernandes will be one of the youngest U.S. Catholic bishops. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati May 18, 2002, he served at the nunciature from 2016 to 2019. He has been pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish since 2019.

His appointment was announced in Washington April 2 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio.

Bishop-designate Fernandes will be the 13th bishop of Columbus. His episcopal ordination and installation will take place May 31 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus.

Bishop-designate Fernandes was secretary at the nunciature from 2016 to 2019. Before that he was dean and assistant professor of moral theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati from 2008 to 2016.

He is the published author of one book and numerous articles and essays, and has given talks and retreats across the country.

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: Archdiocese of Cincinnati)

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