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Pope Francis Appoints New Bishop of Columbus, Vice Chancellor of the Josephinum

The Most Reverend Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, announced today that Pope Francis has appointed Reverend Earl K. Fernandes, STD, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and member of the Pontifical College Josephinum’s Board of Trustees, as 13th Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio. As Bishop of Columbus, Bishop-Elect Fernandes will serve also as Vice-Chancellor of the Josephinum.


“Bishop-Elect Fernandes is an exceptional choice for the Diocese of Columbus and for the Josephinum,” said Very Reverend Steven P. Beseau, Rector/President. “He is a gifted, holy priest with a wealth of experience in many areas of ministry, including seminary formation. We have been blessed by his membership on our Board of Trustees, and look forward to welcoming him as our vice-chancellor and to working with him to support vocations to the priesthood and the mission of the Josephinum.”

Press Conference: Diocese of Columbus, April 2, 2022 | 10:30 a.m.

Announcement from the USCCB

Website of the Diocese of Columbus

About Bishop-Elect Fernandes

Bishop-elect Earl K. Fernandes is currently pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Cincinnati, OH. From 2016-2019, he was a member of the staff of the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC, and continues to serve the Apostolic Nuncio. From 2008-2016, he was the Dean of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology in Cincinnati and an associate professor of moral theology. He holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome. 

He is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pregnancy Center East in Cincinnati, where he has served as a member of the Advisory Board since 2008. He is a member of the National Catholic Bioethics Center. From 2012-2016, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Catholic Theological Schools. Since 2012, he has been a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. 

Bishop-elect Fernandes is a native of Toledo, OH, the fourth of five boys, and the son of Indian immigrants. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Toledo and moved to Cincinnati to study at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine before discerning a vocation to the priesthood. Bishop-elect Fernandes enjoys sports, movies and hiking. He is an avid reader and writer and has particularly strong interest in education, culture and languages. Most of all, he enjoys people.

He has given presentations, talks and retreats around the country and has written articles in three collections of essays published by the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, which also published his book in 2014. Bishop-elect Fernandes’ scholarly essays have also appeared in Seminary Journal, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, the Linacre QuarterlyJournal of the National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry. His articles in the latter two addressed issues of persons with disabilities. Bishop-elect Fernandes is also a monthly contributor to The Catholic Telegraph, the official magazine of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

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