Pope Francis appointed Father J.D. Anthony Jayakody as the new auxiliary bishop to the Archdiocese of Colombo in Sri Lanka
on April 10. The move came six days after the pontiff accepted the renunciation of his predecessor, Vincent Marius Joseph Peirus, who reached the canonical retirement age of 75 in 2016. Father J.D. Jayakody, a cleric of Colombo, now attains the Titular See of Mulli. Since 2011 he has served as the Episcopal Vicar for priestly formation in Colombo
and the rector of St. John Mary Vianney Archdiocesan Seminary for adult vocations in the Sri Lankan capital. He previously served as director of the philosophy department at the National Seminary of Kandy from 2003-2005. Neil Fernando, a pioneering boat builder in Sri Lanka, hailed him as a great teacher to priests and seminarians. "He performed excellently as the rector of both a major and an intermediate seminary to help form Catholic priests of good standing in Sri Lanka," said Fernando, who previously studied under Father J.D. Jayakody. "He also played a key role during Pope Francis' visit here in 2015," Fernando added. During his trip, the pope canonized Sri Lanka's first saint. More praise was forthcoming from Father Expeditus Jayakody, rector of the national seminary in Ampitiya in the island nation's Central Province. "We came from the same parish and both served as alter boys at St. Joseph's church in Pamunugama," he said. "He was a good teacher and he enhanced the formation of clergy at the seminary," the priest added. "This is a worthy appointment and I'm sure he will deliver very strong services for the archdiocese." The new auxiliary bishop was born on born on Oct. 2, 1958 in Pamunugama. He entered the seminary of St. Aloysius in 1975, was ordained in 1985 and obtained his licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome.