Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, on 17 January 2005, appointed
Coadjutor Bishop of Chilaw (Sri Lanka), Rev. Warnakulasurya Wadumestrige Devasritha Valence Mendis of the clergy of Chilaw, rector of the national major seminary in Kandy.
The Bishop elect was born on 21 May 1958, at Koralawella, Moratuwa, archdiocese of Colombo. He studied in Sri Lanka and in Rome and has a degree in philosophy from Urban College. He was ordained a priest on 20 July 1985. For four years he served as a fidei donum priest in the diocese of Kandy. During that time he obtained Compared Religions Masters at the local university. Since 1989 he has been on the staff at the national seminary in Kandy. He has been dean of philosophy, director of the school of philosophy and rector of the seminary. He is also secretary of the Sri Lankan Bishops’ Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.
Chilaw diocese ( 1939) is a suffragan of Colombo archdiocese the only metropolitan See in Sri Lanka. It has an area of 2.976 sq. Km, a population of 679,575 including 233,187 Catholics gathered in 43 parishes and looked after by 76 priests (64 diocesan 12 religious), 27 Brothers, 223 women religious, 37 major seminarians. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 17/1/2005; Righe 15; Parole 189)