Colombo was born in Carate Brianza, near Milan. He served the people of Somalia from 1946, after he had been ordained a priest in Milan, Italy, until his death 43 years later. He was appointed as the first Bishop of Mogadishu in 1975, and ordained as Bishop of Mogadishu on 16 March 1976.
Bishop Colombo was well regarded by non-Catholics, whether Muslim or secular. Bishop Colombo was known for his pragmatic oversight of aid projects, making sure that aid projects could operate after the foreign aid workers went home. The government of President Siad Barre did not tolerate proselytizing, but was comfortable with the humanitarian aid dispensed by the Church.
No bishop has been appointed for Mogadishu since Monsignor Colombo's death. Currently, the welfare of Catholics in Somalia is overseen by an Apostolic Administrator, Dr. Giorgio Bertin, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu.
- Catholic Hierarchy
- "Safirka: Envoy to Somalia". Peter Bridges American Diplomacy, Volume III, No.2, 1998
- Religious Freedom in the Majority Islamic Countries, 1998 Report, Aid to the Church in Need, Alleanza Cattolica
|Catholic Church titles|
Antonio Silvio Zocchetta
as Vicar Apostolic
| Bishop of Mogadiscio
1975 – 1989
as Apostolic Administrator