Bishop Joseph Oliver Bowers SVD



Bishop Bowers Marks His 100th  Birthday


On March 28, Bishop Joseph Oliver Bowers SVD celebrated his one hundredth birthday. The public celebration took place on Easter Monday, April 5, at the motherhouse of the Handmaids of the Divine Redeemer in Agomanya, Ghana.
Among the Church officials who presided at the celebration were Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra; Archbishop Leon Kalenga, the papal nucio to Ghana; Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Bishop Joseph Afrifah-Agyekum of the Diocese of Koforidua; and Bishop Gabriel Kumordji SVD of the Vicariate of Donkorkrom. 
Nicholas Liverpool, President of Dominica traveled to Ghana to honor his fellow Dominican. Many Ghanaian civil authorities and a delegation of Krobo chiefs were also in attendance. John Atta Mills, the president of Ghana, released a statement praising Bishop Bowers for his contribution to the spiritual, moral, and academic development of the Ghanaian people.  
Bishop Bowers was born on March 29, 1910, in Roseau, Dominica. He entered Divine Word Missionaries in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and professed his first vows in 1933. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1939. In 1953, he was ordained a bishop and appointed bishop of Accra, Ghana. In 1971, the Holy Father transferred Bishop Bowers to the Diocese of St. Johns-Basseterre in the Caribbean. He retired from that position in 1981. After some years in the Caribbean, he returned to his beloved Ghana.
Update: Sadly, Bishop Bowers died on November 6, 2012 at the age of 102. He was the third oldest bishop at the time of his death. He was buried in Ghana, West Africa.