Joseph Ponniah

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Joseph Ponniah
Bishop of Batticaloa
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Installed3 July 2012
Personal details
Born (1952-10-12) 12 October 1952 (age 71)
Thannamunai, Ceylon
Alma materUniversity of Jaffna

Right Reverend Joseph Ponniah (born 12 October 1952) is a Sri Lanka Tamil priest and the current Roman Catholic Bishop of Batticaloa.[1]

Early life[edit]

Ponniah was born on 12 October 1952 in Thannamunai in eastern Ceylon.[2][3] He was educated at St. Joseph's Minor Seminary and St. Joseph's College, Trincomalee.[4][5] He has Bachelor of Philosophy degree from St. Paul Seminary, Thiruchirapally and a Bachelor of Theology from the National Seminary, Poonah.[4][5] Ponniah also has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Peradeniya, a Licentiate in Biblical Theology degree from the Pontifical Urbaniana University (1993) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Christian civilization from the University of Jaffna.[4][6][7]


Ponniah was ordained as a priest in April 1980.[2][3] He was parish priest at St. Mary's Co-Cathedral, Batticaloa (1980–82), Vaharai, Veechchu Kalmunai and Ayhiyamalai.[4][7] He was rector at the Minor Seminar, Batticaloa (1993–96) before teaching Pauline theology as professor of holy scriptures at the National Seminary, Ampitiya (1996-01).[4][5][7] He was then parish priest in Thandavanveli (2001–06) and vicar general for the Diocese of Trincomalee-Batticaloa (2006–08).[4][7] He has also lectured at the Eastern University, Sri Lanka.[6] In February 2008 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Trincomalee-Batticaloa and was ordained as a bishop in May 2008.[2][3] He was appointed Bishop of Batticaloa in July 2012.[2][3]


  1. ^ "Batticaloa". Pontifical Mission Societies - Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 2015-02-21. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bishop Joseph Ponniah". Catholic Hierarchy.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bishop Ponniah". Union of Catholic Asian News. Archived from the original on 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "New Auxillary [sic] Bishop appointed for East". TamilNet. 26 February 2008.
  5. ^ a b c Perera, Nimal. I. (21 February 2008). "New bishop in Trinco-Batticaloa: "hope" beyond the war". AsiaNews.
  6. ^ a b "Rev. Fr. Ponniah Joseph new Auxiliary Bishop, Trinco-Batticaloa Diocese". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 29 May 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d "A new, Tamil diocese on Sri Lanka's eastern seashore". AsiaNews. 25 September 2012.

External links[edit]