First Indo-American Catholic Bishop of Columbus
COLUMBUS, Ohio – This week marks a new era for the Catholic Diocese of Columbus.
Bishop-elect Earl Fernandes will become Columbus’ 13th bishop and make history as the first Native American Catholic bishop when he is installed on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old Toledo native and son of immigrants recently served as pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Cincinnati.
Fernandes said he hopes to make an impact through what he can contribute to the Columbus community.
“Being a pastor is really difficult and so I want to be close to the priests of the Diocese of Columbus, but go to the parishes and see what the real needs are,” Fernandes said.
He said he hopes to know what the surrounding communities, both urban and rural, are like and what their real needs are. Fernandes said especially in growing urban areas of the city.
“There is even more growth expected due to the construction of Intel’s factory in New Albany,” he said. “We will need to plan for the future and think about what kind of church we want to be and what kind of church we need to meet people’s spiritual and pastoral needs.”
The installation of Bishop-elect Fernandes is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31. Mass will be held at St. Paul the Apostle in Westerville, Ohio.